9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 137 Articles

Gen-Xers like me remember MTV as the 24-hour-a-day source of music videos in the 1980s, when it stood for "Music Television." Many people today would be surprised to learn that MTV ever had anything to do with music. These days, MTV is better known as the source of reality shows like "The Jersey Shore." And now, here's something else that has nothing to do with music that you can think of when you think MTV: Conjugating verbs! When you think MTV, think "mood, tense, and voice."  Continue reading...

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...

9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 137 Articles