Author Archives: nkrishna

About nkrishna

I own this site.

A Use for Bibles in Disaster Zones

You know those folks who travel to disaster zones (Haiti, Oklahoma, etc.) and hand out not food, not medicine, but Bibles? Turns out they’re not useless after all–as long as the Bibles have leather covers. You see, back in Renaissance … Continue reading

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“Pain from an old wound”

“Nostalgia” means “pain from an old wound,” so says common knowledge. The problem with common knowledge is that it is often wrong. Nostalgia has nothing to do with old wounds, and only a little to do with pain. The other … Continue reading

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Secular India

A man named Narendra Dabholkar was assassinated in India yesterday. I’d never heard of him. I’m even less tuned into to Indian rationalist networks than I am to American ones. Yet this bothered the hell out of me, more than … Continue reading

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DNA Test Reveals White Girl Is White

Previously, I’d done some analysis on the results of the DNA test I’d completed recently. That can be found here: (Background | Results). My fiancée asked if I could do a write-up about her results too, so I did, and … Continue reading

Posted in History, Science | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Letting My Spit Do the Talking, part II

Previously on Hapax Legomenon… I ordered a test from, spit in a tube and sent it back. Six weeks later, I have results in my browser. I had made some educated guesses about what I might find. We’ll see … Continue reading

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Letting My Spit Do the Talking

My recorded family history doesn’t go back more than four or five generations. For thousands of years, Indians didn’t really keep records on genealogy unless you were a king. My family were priests, so most records were transmitted orally… until … Continue reading

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Pet peeve—the YA Literary Love Triangle

Small rant ahead.

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The Language of Science: it’s OK to be prescriptivist

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Tumblr lately (I also post a lot of these blog posts on Tumblr, so yay!—built-in audience). To my surprise, I’ve discovered a not insignificant number of linguistically-oriented people on there. We talk … Continue reading

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In Defense of Semantic Quibbling

This is in the Bad Linguistics category, but not an official entry in the series, as I’d prefer to reserve that for scientifically inept interpretations of linguistic evidence, and not just people misunderstanding why linguistics matters, because that would generate … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Linguistics, Language | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

One nation, under God, in English only

You have got to be kidding me. Fury is brewing at Rocky Mountain High School, in Colorado, after a multicultural student group were encouraged to recite the Pledge of Allegiance over the loudspeaker in Arabic – replacing ‘one nation under … Continue reading

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