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.

Defining the Times: What Campaign Words are we Looking Up?
16 Words You Might Be Surprised Are 100 Years Old
Why Is It 'Eleven, Twelve' Instead of 'Oneteen, Twoteen'?
40 Words Turning 40 In 2016
The Story of the Umlaut
9 Little Translation Mistakes That Caused Big Problems
The Grammar of 'Top Chef': What’s With 'It Eats Salty'?
14 Bowl Competitions to Look For if Football’s Not For You
French Phrases Hidden in English Words
12 Interpretations of Modern Art According to an Emoji Assigner
Hear the Pop Song "Pompeii" Sung in the Language of Pompeii
11 Words of the Year from Around the World
Why Does ‘a Quarter of’ Mean the Same Thing as ‘a Quarter to’?
9 Emojis That Look Completely Different on Other Phones
Why Do Animals Make Different Sounds in Different Languages?
The American Dialect Society's Word of the Year is 'They'
How Morticians Reinvented Their Job Title
Hear Ed Sheeran Sing Irish Version of "Thinking Out Loud"
Why Do We Say 'Merry' Just for Christmas?
7 Sentences That Sound Crazy But Are Still Grammatical
Scrabble Ad Turns The Holidays Around With 'Antigrams'
Why Is 'Wednesday' Spelled Like That?
How To Wrap A Present With Mathematical Precision (and Waste Less Paper)
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year is ‘Ism’
How Did ‘Gross’ Become a Term of Disgust?
ASL Version of 'Rudolph' Shows Amazing Storytelling Skills
The Washington Post Style Guide Now Accepts Singular ‘They’
Word Origins Hiding in Plain Sight
Learn ASL Internet Lingo With Top Model Nyle DiMarco
5 of the Hottest Baby-Naming Trends of 2015
Why Does Germany Have So Many Different Names?
Why Do Some People Say "Yuge" Instead of "Huge"?
Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year Is an Emoji
How One Institution is Helping to Revive the Lakota Language
Why Did ‘Disabled’ Replace ‘Handicapped’ As the Preferred Term?
Translation Error Announces "Clitoris Festival" in Spain
7 Things You Should Know About Sign Language
8 Ancient Writing Systems That Haven't Been Deciphered Yet
New Nutella Campaign Celebrates the Many Dialects of Italy
Why Is There An ‘R’ in Mrs.?
How Past Generations' Slang Became Today's Vocabulary
How Very Polite Canadians Do a Sports Riot
10 Language Mistakes Kids Make That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Peruvian Teen Sensation Sings Michael Jackson in Quechua
10 Most Relevant or Memorable Words from the Democratic Debate
Fancier Words for the Shapes in Your World
9 Different Spanish Accents, Hilariously Explained
9 Linguistic ‘Ignorantisms’ Even Sticklers Got Used To
Dothraki Creator Has New Guide to Art of Language Invention
17 Computer-Generated Hipster Baby Names No One Else Has Yet


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