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Linguistics

The Word I Wish We Didn't Have to Use

Ravishly | Posted 07.15.2014 | Women
Ravishly

I wish there were another catch-all word like "feminist" that I could use to express my belief that all people -- male, female, transgender and otherwise -- should have the exact same fundamental rights and opportunities in this world we share. "Gender-equalist," perhaps? "Advocate for gender fairness"?

'The Language Gap' -- Liberal Guilt Creates Another Not-So-Magic Bullet

Susan D. Blum | Posted 06.30.2014 | Education
Susan D. Blum

Well-meaning liberal academics are attempting a magic solution to what is indeed a heartbreakingly enduring reality: Social inequality is inherited -- not biologically, but socially.

Verbal Safe Haven

Lianna Serko | Posted 06.18.2014 | College
Lianna Serko

I think it is human nature for people to be wary of the way others perceive and interpret their thoughts. And I think that this is the root of the trend to tend towards expressing our beliefs in terms of "feeling" rather than "thinking."

Code-Switching with the Language of Social Media

Simon Tam | Posted 06.15.2014 | Technology
Simon Tam

In recent years, an entire lexicon of digital language, with its own jargon and rules, appeared before our eyes. But what happens when you can't connect with your audience?

Farewell "Bi" for Now, Hello "Diverse!"

Gary North | Posted 06.07.2014 | Gay Voices
Gary North

I'm tired of scientists, sociologists, politicians and religious leaders pontificating on whether I exist.

Are You Guilty of Using These Malapropisms?

Rob Reinalda | Posted 05.19.2014 | Books
Rob Reinalda

To set things straight -- and with a nod to Mrs. Malaprop (go on, Google it) -- I offer the following glossary, with which all writers, editors, and other communicators should become familiar.

What Makes A Voice Attractive? New Study Yields Surprising Answer

The Huffington Post | Jacqueline Howard | Posted 02.25.2014 | Science

Why are some voices more attractive than others? It's complicated. Previous studies showed that men tend to prefer women with high-pitched voices, ...

On the Origin of F*ck

Kate Wiles | Posted 04.20.2014 | Books
Kate Wiles

One origin story for f*ck is that it comes from when sex was outlawed unless it was permitted explicitly by the king, so people who were legally banging had Fornication Under Consent of the King on their doors, or: F.U.C.K. But obviously that's wrong. And if you do believe that, stop it. Stop it right now.

Are You Botching These Smart-Sounding Words?

Rob Reinalda | Posted 04.01.2014 | Books
Rob Reinalda

Perhaps the most common of these offenses occurs with the lengthening -- by a mere syllable, sometimes -- of the correct word to make it the wrong one for the circumstances.

Uptalk in Southern California

Amanda Ritchart | Posted 03.12.2014 | College
Amanda Ritchart

"Ditzy" females are to be accepted as a necessary evil, but now a study finds that males can be "ditzy" too? Shocking!

Functional Literacy for All

Walter Dean Myers | Posted 03.02.2014 | Education
Walter Dean Myers

Let's teach caretakers and young parents how to read and interact linguistically with babies and toddlers. Let's carefully explain to grandmothers and uncles that they have a gift to give to their children -- the gift of functional literacy!

Are Brits Lazy Linguists ?

Aleeka Kay Edwards | Posted 02.22.2014 | Hawaii
Aleeka Kay Edwards

Most of the expats in Hawaii don't need engineers, lawyers or doctors within their first few months of living here. They need someone to help them with phonetics.

Scuttle the 'Bully Pulpit' Metaphor

Warren J. Blumenfeld | Posted 02.19.2014 | Politics
Warren J. Blumenfeld

As it is often said that "elections have consequences," in fact so do words. Therefore, let us assign and bury the "bully pulpit" to the archives of linguistics.

Do People Learn Nouns or Verbs More Easily?

Quora | Posted 01.23.2014 | Science
Quora

Let's try an experiment to find out!* I'll show you a few objects, and give you some sentences with them. (No peeking ahead to the end or the experiment won't work!)

Defining God: Revealing the Poverty of Religious Literacy

Peter Dziedzic | Posted 12.16.2013 | Religion
Peter Dziedzic

While recent events and crises demand our mourning and reflection on the implications of violence and bloodshed, a recent development in Malaysia also demands our reflection on the implications of ignorance and fear in our world.

These Store Signs Will Make You Smile

Aleeka Kay Edwards | Posted 11.23.2013 | Hawaii
Aleeka Kay Edwards

When you traffic in a beach city, the pablum on store signs usually isn't something you notice, but the writing on some of the commercial signage in Hawaii is undeniably memorable.

How Your Native Language Shapes Your Health and Spending Habits

Annabelle Buggle | Posted 11.12.2013 | Weird News
Annabelle Buggle

Yet just as we must learn a language, it seems the language itself may train us: to focus on one area of life and disregard another, to acquire and practice a new skill while putting others on the back burner, to prioritize the present or prepare for our future.

What Bilingualism Is Doing To Your Brain

The Huffington Post | Posted 09.12.2013 | Latino Voices

The evidence keeps pouring in that bilingualism is good for you. Bilinguals with the ability to switch languages seamlessly have likely developed ...

Viral Video Lampoons German Language, But What Do Linguists Say?

The Huffington Post | Melissa Cronin | Posted 08.03.2013 | Science

German just isn't the gentlest-sounding language -- at least not to the ears of English speakers. Just have a look and listen at the video above, whic...

Neanderthals Weren't Lost In Translation After All, Linguists Say

The Huffington Post | Melissa Cronin | Posted 07.14.2013 | Science

When you picture Neanderthals, you might imagine subhuman brutes grunting -- but new research suggests these ancient hominids were more articulate tha...

How the #Hashtag Changed the Way We Communicate

Lauren Schuhmacher | Posted 08.10.2013 | College
Lauren Schuhmacher

Recently, the little tic-tac-toe of linguistics has made its way into other areas of communication, including places that don't support tagging: Facebook, text messaging, and even casual speech (out loud, one would say, "hashtag: blessed"). Why?

WATCH: Teens' Seven Most Annoying Utterances...Decoded

The Huffington Post | Macrina Cooper-White | Posted 05.31.2013 | Science

It's tough being a teenager, what with raging hormones, mood swings, and crazy-busy schedules. But it's certainly no picnic being the parent of a teen...

'Ultraconserved Words' From Last Ice Age Identified

| Posted 05.08.2013 | Science

By Elizabeth Norton If you've ever cringed when your parents said "groovy," you'll know that spoken language can have a brief shelf life. But freq...

Guess Which Gendered Words Are Out In Washington State

Reuters | Laura L. Myers | Posted 06.22.2013 | Women

By Laura L. Myers SEATTLE (Reuters) - Washington state's governor signed into law on Monday the final piece of a six-year effort to rew...

WATCH: Is THIS What Our Prehistoric Ancestors Sounded Like?

The Huffington Post | Macrina Cooper-White | Posted 04.09.2013 | Science

Ever wondered what our prehistoric ancestors sounded like when they "talked" to each other? Scientists say it might have sounded a bit like the gurgli...