Joined: Nov 21, 2012
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.
German is known for its extremely long compound words—Mark Twain once complained that some were “so long they have a perspective.” This quick video demonstrates how those words are constructed.
The word ‘gross,’ which came to English from French, took on a variety of senses in English related to size. But the ‘gross of today is different from the ‘gross’ of the past thanks to teens.
Geographers and climatologists have a goody bag full of wonderful words that get super specific about wind.
Some nouns only have a plural form, regardless of how we think of them. They are known as ‘pluralia tantum,’ Latin for “plural only.”
These sentences are sure to make you scratch your head.
Ever wonder why there’s a ‘k’ in ‘knead,’ or a ‘d’ in ‘Wednesday’? While there isn’t always a good reason for why some English words are spelled the way they are, there are reasons.
Vocal fry describes a specific sound quality caused by the movement of the vocal folds—and it’s nothing new.
In English we have a few different ways to write the sound of a kiss: muah, smack, xxx. They get the idea across, but none of them imitate the actual sound of a kiss.
English isn’t the only alphabet, and not every alphabet will fit into “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Here are some other songs from around the world to help them learn their ABCs.
Not all authors’ dedications are nice. Some—like these—are just plain mean.
Language is so deeply embedded in almost every aspect of the way we interact with the world. What would our thoughts be like without it?
Sometimes there are words that you've seen, read, and maybe even used in conversation whose meaning you can never keep straight.