The Legendary Language of the Appalachian “Holler”
Is the unique Appalachian dialect the preserved language of Elizabethan England? Left over from Scots-Irish immigrants? Or something else altogether?
The Legacy of Koko the Gorilla
The jury is still out on whether or not Koko's signing skills proved that apes can learn language. But we certainly learned a lot from the famous gorilla.
The Uncertain Art of the American Compliment
The way Americans compliment is maximalist and enthusiastic, but it may not always be sincere. Our resident linguist unpacks the language of politeness.
The Unspeakable Linguistics of Camp
When gay and lesbian people had to invent their own languages with which to talk with each other, camp led the way.
When Prison Time Meant Rhymes
The “gay, frolicsome and amusing" rhymes of 1970s American prison slang.
What a Paragraph Is
On the controversial directive that a paragraph must contain a topic sentence, an idea that theorists, writers, and students have questioned for decades.
The Fairytale Language of the Brothers Grimm
How the Brothers Grimm went hunting for fairytales, accidentally changed the course of historical linguistics, and kickstarted a new field of scholarship in folklore.
The Lost Language of American Loggers
Logger slang may have coined terms like "punk," "haywire," and "pie in the sky." One lexicographer attempted to catalogue the industry's slang in 1942.
Revisiting the Messy Language of the Second Amendment
The debate over the Second Amendment is not just about guns—it's also about grammar.
Small Poppy Syndrome: Why are Australians so Obsessed With Nicknaming Things?
What's behind the Australian habit of nicknaming and abbreviating everything? Nicknames may just reveal how Australians see themselves and relate to each other.