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.
7 Book Dedications that Basically Say “Screw You”
Is It Possible To Think Without Language?
10 Words With Difficult-to-Remember Meanings
8 Fun Facts About the Irish Language
You may hear an "Erin go bragh" or two, but even on the most Irish of holidays, we don't hear much of the Irish language—which is a shame.
11 Naughty-Sounding Scientific Names (and What They Really Mean)
Perfectly innocent Latin or Greekisms that just happen to sound like something else.
15 Words Plagued by Unusual Silent Letters
Silent letters are the scourge of spellers and a stumbling block when learning how to write in English—but they're often hidden remnants of how the words passed through different languages on their way to English.
How to Tell Whether You've Got Angst, Ennui, or Weltschmerz
English never hesitates to borrow words that would lose certain subtleties in translation, and angst, ennui, and weltschmerz have made their way into English by offering a little something extra.
What Does "The" Mean?
It’s the most frequent word in the English language, accounting for around 4 percent of all the words we write or speak. But what the word 'the' means is surprisingly complicated.
The Tiny Island Where Men Have Their Own Language
Alternatively called Ngatikese Men’s Language, Ngatik Men’s Creole, or Ngatikese Pidgin, it’s primarily used among men engaged in activities like fishing and boat-building.
‘Tis and 10 Other Fun Proclitic Words
Why let 'tis have all the fun? This season, get in the proclitic spirit with these 10 other charming word-beginning contractions.
What’s the Difference Between a Gift and a Present?
Those brightly wrapped packages we exchange around the holidays and other special occasions: Sometimes we call them gifts, other times presents. Is there a difference?
26 of Noah Webster’s Spelling Changes That Didn’t Catch On
Some of Webster's suggested reforms caught on and still mark a difference between American and British writing. But you won't beleev how many of his reforms went nowhere.
10 Fun Facts About the Valyrian Language of 'Game of Thrones' and 'House of the Dragon'
The upcoming Targaryen-focused prequel 'House of the Dragon' promises to have much more Valyrian dialogue than 'Game of Thrones' did. Here are eight fun facts about the language for you to ponder before 'House of the Dragon' debuts on August 21.
106 of the Least Popular Baby Names in American History
If you’re looking for a baby name and want something truly original, but with historical precedent, here’s your list
9 Common Terms That Come From Words for Heat
From ink to calm, you might be surprised to learn how many words come back to scorching temperatures.