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Language

Presidential Words Still Matter

Clarence B. Jones | Posted 10.05.2011 | Politics
Clarence B. Jones

A birthday present for the president would be for his speech writers to review some of their ridiculous use of the English language to convey the appropriate political message of the president.

"The French Connection"

Jerry Zezima | Posted 09.25.2011 | Comedy
Jerry Zezima

Excusez-moi, s'il vous plait. I should say I'll always have Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, where I recently spent eight minutes (huit minutes) sprinting from one airplane (l'avion) to another.

What’s The Most Beautiful Word In The English Language?

GalleyCat | Jason Boog on July 8, 2011 9:23 AM | Posted 09.07.2011 | Books

What's the most beautiful word in the English language? This GalleyCat editor votes for the word "lovely."...

Why Are Women So 'Bright'?

Mike Amato | Posted 08.24.2011 | Comedy
Mike Amato

Ever notice how often men refer to women as "bright?" Ever notice how often whites refer to blacks as "bright?" Ever notice you rarely hear white men praised for their brightness, unless they're either very young or very old? It's an interesting compliment.

Nine War Words That Define Our World

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 08.23.2011 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

Go figure: today, our "covert" wars are front-page news. What follows are nine common terms associated with our present wars that probably don't mean what you think they mean.

Ray Kurzweil on Translation Technology

Nataly Kelly | Posted 08.13.2011 | Technology
Nataly Kelly

According to Ray Kurzweil, machines will reach human levels of translation quality by the year 2029. In addition to text-based translation, numerous advances have taken place recently.

3 Reasons Why the Term 'Lifestyle Business' Doesn't Work

Adelaide Lancaster | Posted 08.02.2011 | Business
Adelaide Lancaster

Let's lose (or at least limit) the overuse of term "lifestyle" business and prove that entrepreneurship is bigger, broader and more expansive than the 'high-growth or bust' mentality.

The Future Depends On What The Meaning of "Was" Was

Dr. Naif A. Al-Mutawa | Posted 07.17.2011 | World
Dr. Naif A. Al-Mutawa

The Arab world should teach subjects in the language that mirrors the language spoken at home. From creative writing to the sciences, the language of the family should be the language of education.

Can You Be Good Without God?

Matt J. Rossano | Posted 07.06.2011 | Religion
Matt J. Rossano

If atheists or secularists want to offer an alternative to religious morality, then it would appear that their first challenge is to agree on what the content of their morality will be (e.g. is abortion moral or not?)

In the Fight for Language Survival, Technology Helps Shift the Balance of Power

Nataly Kelly | Posted 06.18.2011 | Technology
Nataly Kelly

It's a travesty, really. International Mother Language Day is celebrated just once per year, but languages face extinction every single day. But there...

Origin Of Human Language Revealed

The Huffington Post | Cara Parks | Posted 06.15.2011 | World

Human language arose in southern Africa, a new study in Science magazine claims. Language then spread across the globe through human migration. The...

Last 2 Speakers Of Dying Language Won't Speak To Each Other

Posted 06.14.2011 | World

If you've never heard anyone speaking Ayapaneco, you're not alone. Though the language has been spoken in what is now Mexico for centuries, there ...

How Our Perceptions Shape Our Reality

Morty Lefkoe | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Morty Lefkoe

In order for anything to exist, it must be distinguished from everything else. If no distinction is made between a specific thing and everything else, then there is only an undifferentiated everything -- which is another way of saying nothing.

The Word 'Hipster' Shall Always Be With Us

Chicago Magazine | Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago

Being a word geek, this is the sort of scenario in which I'd advise caution; I was genuinely curious what we writers would be losing if we threw out "...

Understanding Stuttering

Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D. | Posted 05.25.2011 | Los Angeles
Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D.

In The King's Speech, Colin Firth portrays the stuttering, struggling King George VI. An estimated 3 million adults and children in the United States stutter.

你说啥?Three Guesses at a Global Chinese Language Future

An Xiao Mina | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
An Xiao Mina

Just as Globish, a simplified version of English, has spread around the globe, so would a simplified form of Chinese. Here's a guess at what might change should "Globese" become the world's next lingua franca.

A Digital Love Letter to a Dying Language

Nataly Kelly | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Nataly Kelly

With the help of modern technology, it is truly possible for all mother tongues to not only belong to their rightful communities, but to be enjoyed by all of us.

Have You Said "Homogamy" Today?

Philip N. Cohen | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Philip N. Cohen

Have you said "homogamy" today? The latest issue of the Journal of Family Theory and Review is out. A young journal, in only its third volume, it's w...

Emerging Languages, Emergent Knowledge

K. David Harrison | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
K. David Harrison

While the top of the economic pyramid may be dominated by a few players, the knowledge pyramid is inversely skewed, with just 0.2% of the world's population possessing a full 80% of our languages, and the vast knowledge they encode.

What Malia and Sasha Obama's Parents Know About the Value of Language

Nataly Kelly | Posted 05.25.2011 | Education
Nataly Kelly

Mind your manners." "Eat your carrots." "Practice your Mandarin." The first two phrases are often uttered by the average American parents. The last one is heard in far fewer homes.

Mandatory Arabic Classes In Texas Schools On Hold

The Huffington Post | Mark Hanrahan | Posted 05.25.2011 | Education

A plan to make lessons in Arabic and Arab culture mandatory for students in some Texas schools has been put on hold, following feedback from parents. ...

Mark Twain's Language: "Bad" Words Then and Now

Hugh Rawson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Hugh Rawson

The text of Huckleberry Finn includes more than two hundred instances of the controversial word. But this doesn't say very much about the author himself.

Traumatic Events Can Alter View Of Language

npr.org | By Geoff Nunberg | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books

There are more threats on politicians on both sides now, but not a lot of people are unhinged enough to actually try to carry out attacks. And once so...

Taking a Look at How We Look At Our World and at Ourselves

Mitchell J. Rabin | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Mitchell J. Rabin

Looking at how we think, see or perceive as in a reflective exercise is just not something we humans really like to do. We'd rather actively assert t...

Old Words in a New Box: Cee-Lo's Hit Single

Hugh Rawson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Hugh Rawson

The taboo of profanity is greatly relaxed nowadays. But is this progress? Or simply change? There doesn't seem to be a lot new under the sun.