Arika Okrent

Writes about: language

Linguist, author of In the Land of Invented Languages, living in Chicago, doing her part to fight off the cot-caught merger and keep "gym shoes" alive.

Punctuation Marks Hated by Famous Authors
A Deaf Football Team Invented the Huddle
Unofficial Rules Native English Speakers Don't Realize They Know
Words With Difficult-to-Remember Meanings
The Correct Pronunciation of February
Gift vs Present: What Is the Difference?
Grammar Lessons Hidden in Christmas Songs
Words That Were Borrowed From A Language, Transformed, Then Borrowed Back
Death Slang From History
13 Words That Changed From Negative to Positive (or Vice Versa)
9 Common Terms That Come From Words for Heat
11 Versions of “Average Joe” From Other Countries
15 Pairs of Words That Surprisingly Come From the Same Source
12 Old Words That Survived by Getting Fossilized in Idioms
Find Your Birthday Word With the Oxford English Dictionary's Birthday Word Generator
11 Little-Known Words for Specific Family Members
15 Basic Words That Are Etymological Mysteries
15 Ripsniptious Faux-Educated Words of the 19th Century
15 Unique Illnesses You Can Only Come Down With in German
16 Words That Are Much Older Than They Seem
4 Fake Grammar Rules You Don't Need to Worry About
15 Awesome 19th Century Street Gang Names
11 Words You Might Not Realize Come From “Love”
7 Words That Came About From People Getting Them Wrong
11 Totally Redundant Place Names
11 Nouns That Only Have a Plural Form
The Cupertino Effect: 11 Spell Check Errors That Made It to Press
The Most Expensive Properties in 11 Special Edition Monopoly Games
11 Suffixes That Gave Us New, Often Terrible Words
7 Common Words With Little-Known Relatives
5 Words That Are Spelled Weird Because Someone Got the Etymology Wrong
15 Adorably Wunderbar German Terms of Endearment
26 of Noah Webster’s Spelling Changes That Didn’t Catch On
9 Splendiferous Words from the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary
25 of the Happiest Words in English
What Is Vocal Fry?
5 Times the Jig Was Up Because the Parrot Squawked
How a Deaf-Blind Person Watches the World Cup
The Curious Origins of 16 Common Phrases
What Is ‘gh’ Doing in So Many English Words?
How Did English End Up With There/ They're/ Their?
21 Fancy Medical Terms for Mundane Problems
How Do You Stress the Word: THANKSgiving or ThanksGIVing?
22 Emojis That Look Completely Different on Different Phones
Today is a Holiday in Honor of World’s Greatest Alphabet
11 Examples of the Odd Dialect Called 'EU English'
Why Is 'Colonel' Spelled That Way?
The Evolution of "Two" in the Indo-European Language Family
7 Academic Studies of Instagram
12 Things Called ‘French’ In English and Whether They're Actually French


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