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Language Book

Here's What We Can Learn About Language From User-Generated Reviews

Posted 09.16.2014 | Home

Bad reviews display all the linguistic symptoms of minor trauma.

A Step-By-Step Proof That Happiness Depends Partly On Grammar

Posted 09.15.2014 | Home

For genuine thinking, we need words.

17 Fascinating Language Facts

Posted 09.11.2014 | Home

Gambrinous means “being full of beer.”

Is Twitter Bad For Language? Statistical Analysis Says No (NEW BOOK)

Posted 09.10.2014 | Home

The following is an excerpt from Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One’s Looking by Christian Rudder. Rudder is a co-founder of OkCupid, and th...

9 Most Beautiful Words

Phil Cousineau | Posted 01.23.2014 | Home
Phil Cousineau

I have also come to love what the linguist Charles Mackay described as the "lost beauties," of our mother tongue, archaic words worthy of revival, such as oubliette, a forgotten place, hwyl, a sudden outburst of eloquence, or skirl, to shriek like a bagpipe.

Where'd The Word 'Crap' Come From?

Posted 10.02.2012 | Home

The following is an excerpt from "The Etymologicon" [Berkley Trade, $16.00] by Mark Forsyth: There’s a myth that the word crap was coined for th...

7 Words You're Probably Misusing

Mignon Fogarty | Posted 09.12.2012 | Home
Mignon Fogarty

The seven commonly misused words that follow are but a smattering of the ways English can go off the rails. Take note. Get them right and you'll keep sticklers from boarding the crazy train.

The Origins Of 7 Popular Slang Words

Professor Julie Coleman | Posted 07.22.2012 | Home
Professor Julie Coleman

For me, slang is at the social interface of language. Slang words aren't linguistically different from other words, except that they keep on moving. It is my considered opinion that slang is a bag of snakes.

11 People You Don't Want To Be Friends With

Tim Lihoreau | Posted 07.20.2012 | Home
Tim Lihoreau

Perhaps we all have our own Schadenfreude palette (that is, the desire to gloat and find happiness in the misfortunes of others). Having thought about it, I instantly began to notice the said traits amongst friends, relatives and, indeed, total strangers. So I decided to collect them.

The Power Of A Great Pun

John Pollack | Posted 06.09.2012 | Home
John Pollack

The deconstruction and recombination of sound, symbol and meaning - the very essence of punning - was the key that enabled people to unlock the potential of written language. Without puns, we would have no alphabet. Without an alphabet, we would have no practical way of writing