3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 119 Articles

A recent article in Wired by Anne Trubek argues that the advent of the fully digital age will — and should — have as great an influence on English spelling as the age of print did, more than half a millennium ago. The author, a professor at Oberlin College, argues that our current obsession with correct spelling is out of keeping with the digital age: "Consistent spelling was a great way to ensure clarity in the print era. But with new technologies, the way that we write and read (and search and data-mine) is changing, and so must spelling." Must it?  Continue reading...
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Emotional transport is not a regular feature or goal of popular music, which seems generally to be the aural equivalent of snack food. Popular tunes are littered with disposable lyrics. And yet every now and then, the language of a song can take you outside the confines of the three-minute window to something more enduring.  Continue reading...
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Long ago (in fact, seven years to the day), when the paint on the walls of the Language Lounge was still fresh, we talked about the ways in which sexism is reflected in the lexicon of English, using word maps in the Visual Thesaurus. The occasion was Women's History Month, and now, since that occasion has rolled around again, it's a suitable time to have another look at gender inequality in language.  Continue reading...
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In this month's Language Lounge, we explore one of the most curious corners of contemporary consumer culture: the litany of side effects in commercials for prescription drugs, in which sometimes horrifying conditions are narrated over pleasing images. Warning: May cause unsettling contemplation.  Continue reading...
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A recent New York Times article reports that the Philippines has now overtaken India as the hub of the outsourced call center. The article contains a telling characterization of the Philippines as "a former United States colony that has a large population of young people who speak lightly accented English and, unlike many Indians, are steeped in American culture."  Continue reading...
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The Internet makes it possible to publish dictionaries containing entries of any length, in any format, that are not necessarily subject to traditional rules or conventions. So it's fair to ask: is abandoning the traditional short-form definition, along with the paper it was once printed on, a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater? Or is it a good opportunity to reinvent lexicography?  Continue reading...
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Words step outside of their borders all the time; and once they are in new territory, they rarely follow the rules that bound them in their original context. As time passes, they can become complete strangers to their original users, and may even be seen as betraying them.  Continue reading...
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3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 119 Articles