Displaying all articles tagged:


  1. linguistics
    How Do You Pronounce Candidate?The most pressing question this political season.
  2. linguistics
    What Is a Tinkling Contest and Why Must It End With One Covered in Skunk Tinkle?A linguist explains what Nancy Pelosi meant when she warned against getting in a “tinkle contest with a skunk.”
  3. science of us
    Linguists Explain Meghan Markle’s Apparent New British AccentAn investigation.
  4. science of us
    The Strict, Subtle Rules of a Hey Ladies! EmailAnalyzing the unspoken subtext of the bridal party group email.
  5. word search
    A Brief, Convoluted History of the Word ‘Intersectionality’How an academic term morphed into a buzzword.
  6. science of us
    The 300-Year History of Using ‘Literally’ FigurativelyWomen have always been much quicker than men to move ahead into new linguistic territory.
  7. To Understand Why We Have So Many Languages, Look Way, Way Back in Human HistoryRainfall and warfare are just two of the many factors.
  8. Why the Internet Tilde Is the Most Perfect Piece of Snark We HaveIs there any punctuation mark more of the times?
  9. The Real Purpose of Uptalk Is to Get You to Shut Up and ListenLinguists argue that the much-maligned habit is a way of holding a listener’s attention.
  10. Why Astronauts Speak in ‘Space Creole’Hint: There are cosmonauts involved.
  11. linguistics
    Women Use Singsong Smarts to Talk to Their DogsIt’s a matter of using “all the resources available to them as language users, with their nonhuman social partners.”
  12. linguistics
    The Best Way to Write a Protest Sign, According to LinguisticsIt doesn’t need to be original, just memorable.
  13. The More You Swear, the More Honest You AreWhat transparency sounds like.
  14. linguistics
    Emoji Have a Dual NatureDepending on what they’re describing, people write with emoji using one of two logics.
  15. linguistics
    Why So Many Words Are Really ‘Obsolete Expressions’It’ll really spur your thinking.
  16. The Possessive Your Guys’ Is American English at Its Rough-Spun BestThe language evolves.
  17. The Reason Ghosts Say ‘Boo’ Is Downright AdorableIt’s also a good defense against geese, evidently.
  18. Why You Hear Trump’s ‘Big League’ As ‘Bigly’The candidate, and your brain, is making shortcuts.
  19. Locker-Room Talk Is the Glue of the ‘Fratriarchy’It’s the lingua franca of the old boys’ club.
  20. Languages Around the World Use the Same Sounds for the Same ThingsIf you’re talking about sand, you’re likely going to use an “s.”
  21. science of us
    Blind People Gesture Like Sighted PeopleWhether or not you can see, you talk with your hands.
  22. A Data Scientist Discovered the Most Metal Word in the English LanguageSpoiler alert: It’s not committee.
  23. election
    Linguists: Trump Uses a Lot of ‘Words That Don’t Carry Any Information’But how much of a candidate’s true self is contained in his or her speeches?
  24. A Linguist Has Some Tips for Choosing Your Future Band NameWhat the Who, Slayer, and Guns N’ Roses all have in common.
  25. Girls’ and Boys’ Names Literally Sound DifferentDoes yours vibrate the vocal cords?
  26. A Linguist Attempts to Explain Why Donald Trump Often Sounds IncoherentIt’s about the use (and misuse) of something called “discourse markers.”
  27. accents
    Hillary Clinton Mimics Accents — But So Do You, ProbablyThe psychology behind speech imitation. 
  28. lol
    Important French Linguists Say STFU With Your LOLsA decree. 
  29. the lexicon of modern love
    Must We Call It a ‘Serious’ Relationship? What’s wrong with good, nice, fun, or even solid?
  30. the lexicon of modern love
    I Got You, Sweetikin: Why We Call Each Other BabeIf Sonny and Cher had lived in the 16th century …
  31. misheard lyrics
    Why You Keep Mishearing That Taylor Swift LyricExpectations are powerful.
  32. the lexicon of modern love
    The Long Linguistic Life of It’s ComplicatedIt’s been complicated for more than a century.
  33. linguistics
    Repeating a Word Until It Loses Its Meaning: It’s a ThingIt’s called semantic satiation.
  34. writing
    Steven Pinker on Why It’s Okay to Dangle Your ParticipleIn a new book about how to write clearly, the Harvard cognitive scientist has some harsh words for the “gotcha squad’s” enforcement of bogus language rules.
  35. Dudes Say ‘Uh’; Ladies Say ‘Um’Investigating an odd linguistic gender divide.
  36. linguistics
    Why Can’t We Stop Talking About ‘Bikini Bodies’?The staying power of a troubling term.
  37. Sorry I’m Not Sorry I’m SorryThe word isn’t automatically a sign of weakness.
  38. Women Get Punished More Than Men for a Common Speech MannerismIt’s the new uptalk, and people with it are taken less seriously.
  39. gender studies
    Uptalk Is for Everyone, at Least in CaliforniaIt’s a new study?
  40. taxonomy
    The 7 Types of Hashtag AbusersUsing it out loud, using it as a crutch, and five other ways we should stop using them.
  41. mating behavior
    The 10 Ways That Men Text WomenA taxonomy of textual communication, some of which you probably recognize.
  42. linguistics
    What Should We Say Instead of ‘Pro-Choice’?As Planned Parenthood moves away from the term, feminists offer up new options.