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Linguistics

Here's The Real Story Of Where This Expression Comes From

The Huffington Post | Jacqueline Howard | Posted 11.11.2014 | Science

"OK" is certainly one of the most common expressions in the English language--and one of the most versatile. After all, it can be used as an adjectiv...

7 Things to Know About Native American Languages

Colleen M Fitzgerald | Posted 11.08.2014 | Impact
Colleen M Fitzgerald

The month of November is Native American Heritage Month. A recent editorial by Kevin Gover, director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, suggests that "the vast majority of Americans have a limited -- and often mistaken -- understanding of Native American history."

Ancient Disk's Mysterious Code Finally Cracked

The Huffington Post | Jacqueline Howard | Posted 10.28.2014 | Science

Scientists have been trying to decipher the mysterious "Phaistos Disk" ever since the 4,000-year-old clay disk was discovered in 1908 on the Greek isl...

Two Traditional Languages Evade Extinction With the Internet

K. David Harrison | Posted 09.24.2014 | World
K. David Harrison

The National Geographic Enduring Voices Project has just launched two new "Talking Dictionaries" for Yokoim and Panim, two small and endangered languages making their internet debut in 2014.

A Linguistics Take On The Pronunciation Of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Alanna Lynch | Posted 09.24.2014 | Taste
Alanna Lynch

I decided to take on the challenge of mediating the argument between "Ree-says" and "Ree-sees."

Here's The One Word Everyone Is Saying/Writing Right Now

The Huffington Post | Sara Boboltz | Posted 08.06.2014 | Books

We all love slash can't stop using "slash."

The Word I Wish We Didn't Have to Use

Ravishly | Posted 09.14.2014 | 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...