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.

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
This Conversational Strategy May Be a Language Universal
Beautiful 1847 Map Shows the Many Languages of France
See the Same Sentence in 17 Different Sign Languages
How Did Language Begin?
6 of the Least Presidential Words Used in the Second GOP Debate
19 Cromulent Words You Can Still Adopt for a Good Cause
Weatherman Slays Longest Welsh Town Name
Why do Americans say ‘Uh’ and ‘Um’ and British People Say ‘Er’ and ‘Erm’?
8 Brand Names With Punctuation Problems
12 Creepy Lullabies From Around the World That Will Keep You Up at Night
Where Do the Days of the Week Get Their Names?
1936 Map of the Dogs of All Nations
Why Does the Airplane Oxygen Mask Have a Bag That “May Not Inflate”?
The Most Popular Emoji in Each State
18 Most Relevant Words (By Candidate) from the GOP Debates
How One Mysterious Medical Case Helped Map the Brain
The Subtle Genius of Minionese
New World Champ of French Scrabble Doesn’t Speak Any French
Is a Microphone a ‘Mic’ or a ‘Mike’?
Why Does 'Terrible' Mean Bad and 'Terrific' Mean Good?
What Does ‘Understand’ Have to do With Standing Under?
What’s With The New Yawk Accent?
The Poet Who Traveled the U.S. Speaking Only Faroese
What's the Real Origin of OK?
6 International Terms of Endearment
The Grammar Battle That Followed the American Revolution
Why Did Yankee Doodle Call a Feather ‘Macaroni’?
‘Hot Mess’ Dates to 1899 and 5 Other Pieces of News from the Latest OED Update
1943 Film Explains Cockney Rhyming Slang
How the Word ‘Father’ Unlocked the History of Language
The Evolution of 'Dude'
Make Strange Stories from Your Pictures with Word Camera
Proportional Map of the World's Largest Languages
What’s With the Word Order in ‘Believe You Me’?
15 Common Expressions Younger Generations Won't Understand
A Language Based Only On Whistles
New Scrabble Ad Shows How Word Lovers Find Love
Why Is Y Sometimes a Vowel?
The Guy Who Tried to Edit English


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