9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 731 Articles

How speakers introduce additions to the language that then gain circulation is difficult to document: even today in the Internet age, tracing the origins of linguistic innovation is a sleuth's game and it's a subject that intrigues linguists. Now researchers are trying to bring more light to the process by which people create, learn and use new words.  Continue reading...
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"We don't need another hero," sang Tina Turner in the 1985 film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Sorry, Tina — from the evidence, we need "hero" more than ever. The word has become a noun-of-all-trades, a succinct four-letter label for people and things we admire.  Continue reading...
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It's September and students of all ages are heading back to school. But why is it back to school and not back to the school or back to schools? Certainly if I were to write about one specific school, I would write the school. If I were talking about schools as a category, I can say schools.  Continue reading...
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Avast! Ahoy! Bring it on, mateys! Did you know that September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? Arrrr, it's true! Lately, it seems that everyone is trying to sound piratical.  Continue reading...
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Some punctuation marks hog the spotlight, like the versatile, omnipresent comma and the flirty, oft-abused semicolon. Question marks and exclamation marks — the good cop, bad cop of punctuation — are forever in your face. The period subtly but emphatically makes its presence known, while parentheses are off gossiping and tittering like teenage girls. These are the usual suspects most people think of when it comes to punctuation.  Continue reading...
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Jan Schreiber, a noted poet, critic, and translator, encourages aspiring writers to make their own metaphors: "The ability to shift, smoothly and almost unnoticed, between two related meanings of a word is one of the remarkable features of human communication."  Continue reading...
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For language lovers, Slate's Lexicon Valley podcast has been required listening for the past year and a half. Now Lexicon Valley has announced that in addition to the podcast, it is also launching a language blog on Slate. The blog cross-publishes posts from contributors to Language Log, including our own Ben Zimmer.  Continue reading...
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9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 731 Articles