Tag Archives: language

Book Review — Holy Sh*t!: A Brief History of Swearing

Author: Melissa Mohr Publisher: Oxford University Press Every once in a while you come across a book on a bookstore shelf that catches your eye simply because it’s got a dirty word right in the title. So it was with … Continue reading

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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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U guize u guize i found the gratest thing!!!11

To paraphrase the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding: give me a word, any word, and I show you how the root of that word is… Hebrew? Enter creationist linguistics. It hasn’t been a thing since Noah Webster in … Continue reading

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The Washington Post has a very odd definition of “understandability.”

Tū, mewom klneudhi! So pūr tosmōi senei manei dō. Negwrias kwṛmis apo bhergod deukdhi, tod mātrei dō. Ne askoisu spyeudhi! That’s a pseudo-Proto-Indo-European version of what the WaPo claims is a sentence that could be understood across 150 centuries. Did … Continue reading

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Fiction and the Language of Conspiracy

Maybe it’s getting worse, maybe we’re just hearing about it more. In the wake of the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon and the ensuing manhunt, the weird part of the Internet has been more excitable than usual. In a … Continue reading

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Sexist pronouns

There’s a problem with English.  Okay, there are lots of problems with English, from a spelling system that hasn’t been made sense since the 15th century to an undue love of Latin grammatical standards in a language that wasn’t made … Continue reading

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