8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 129 Articles

News recently broke about words like chillax and vuvuzela getting added to the Oxford Dictionary of English. Merrill Perlman, who writes the "Language Corner" column for Columbia Journalism Review, noticed that many reports of the story couldn't get the name of the dictionary right. Here is her guide for the perplexed.  Continue reading...

University of Illinois English professor Dennis Baron writes:

Every once in a while some concerned citizen decides to do something about the fact that English has no gender-neutral pronoun. They either call for such a pronoun to be invented, or they invent one and champion its adoption. Wordsmiths have been coining gender-neutral (or "epicene") pronouns for a century and a half, all to no avail.  Continue reading...

Our resident linguist Neal Whitman has been thinking about the idiomatic expression "call (someone) on the carpet," in the news because of President Obama's firing of General Stanley McChrystal.  Continue reading...

A recent trip to an amusement park with his sons Doug and Adam got linguist Neal Whitman thinking about the evolution of the word awesome, and how it took such a different historical turn from its sibling awful.  Continue reading...

Pay attention to the lyrics of the songs at the top of the pop charts these days, and you'll hear one slangy word used with surprising frequency: Imma (spelled in various different ways). Our resident linguist Neal Whitman investigates.  Continue reading...

The recent passage of health care legislation in the U.S. Congress has got linguist Neal Whitman ruminating over a reform-related metaphor that doesn't make much sense when you stop to think about it.  Continue reading...

For National Grammar Day, linguist Neal Whitman takes a look at a long-standing source of contention among grammar enthusiasts: singular they. (Grammar purists, prepare yourselves for some unconventional rules!)  Continue reading...

8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 129 Articles