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.

5 Pairs of Countries That Americans Confuse
When and Why Did People Start Saying "Um" When They Talk?
9 Extremely Pretentious Latin and Greek Plurals
What's the Real Origin of "OK"?
How to Converse Properly: 18 Tips From Old Etiquette Books
Why is English Spelling So Messed Up?
21 Creative TV Edits of Naughty Movie Lines
7 Fun Facts About the Dothraki Language of Game of Thrones
The 65 Year Battle over the Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act
How the U.S. Army Made War with the Language of Peace
50 Shades of Gray from the First Comprehensive Guide to Color Naming
23 Canadianisms Way More Interesting Than "Eh?"
11 Terms from a Knock-Your-Socks-Off 1943 Song about Slang
7 Geeky-Cool Translations of Hamlet
17 Overly Optimistic Book Titles
7 Book Dedications that Basically Say "Screw You"
How Many Languages is it Possible to Know?
4 Defenses of the Hamantash from the Latke-Hamantash Debate
Bella, Cha Cha Man, Boogles, Fido, Mopsulus: Dog Naming Trends Through the Ages
Latina vivit: 7 Ways to Be Ready Next Time News Breaks in Latin
Iko iko wan dey: What Do the Words of the Mardi Gras Song Mean?
11 Cynical Proverbs About Love From Around the World
18 Complicated Scientific Ideas Explained Simply
Singing the ABCs in 8 Different Languages
The Art of Reviling: 10 Tips for Criticizing People More Effectively
How Many Words Do Eskimos Really Have for Snow?
Terms for the Penis Among American College Students
8 Words of the Year from Other Countries
The American Dialect Society's Word of the Year Is Hashtag
12 Mind Blowing Number Systems From Other Languages
8 Great Arguments from the Latke-Hamentash Debate
5 Songs from the Eurovision for Endangered Languages, Liet International
How Do Computers Understand Speech?
The Wisconsin Town That Didn't Learn English for Five Generations
11 Movie Chess Scenes Where The Board Is Set Up Wrong
Why Do Sign Language Interpreters Look So Animated?
24 Useful Words From Laádan, a Language Invented to Express a Woman's Point of View
11 Common Words With Very Specific Meanings on Food Labels
16 Words That Are Much Older Than They Seem


A super-skimmable daily digest.