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.
The story of American Sign Language goes back hundreds of years, to a time before America was even a nation.
Everybody hates management-speak and corporate jargon, but here are some terms that people used to think of as horrible jargon that we all got used to. Maybe one day we'll all be leveraging deliverables without a second thought.
Even if you speak French you may never have noticed them.
We know the umlaut as that heavy metal pair of scary looking Gothic-Viking-Teutonic dots, but it is so much more. Here is the story of the umlaut.
Germany. Deutschland, Allemagne, Niemcy, Saksa, Vokietija...
Sometimes the etymology of a word is right in front of us, and we don't even see it.
We say happy for every other occasion. Why merry just for Christmas?
A rooster sounds like a rooster wherever it lives. A cow sounds like a cow in every country. So shouldn't we all use the same words for animal sounds no matter what our language?
They both used to mean terror-inducing. How did they end up meaning such different things?
What does Sunday have to do with the sun? What's a Satur or Tues?
Here's what we know about the origin of language.
Square, circle, triangle—how boring!