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Blog Excerpts

How Did People Sound in 1963?

The anachronistic dictionary that showed up recently on "Mad Men" was just the tip of the iceberg. Linguist John McWhorter argues that the supposedly authentic TV drama doesn't really capture how Americans spoke in the early '60s. Read all about it on his New Republic blog.
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Just in time for the beginning of the school year, linguist Neal Whitman investigates how "back to school" got transformed from a prepositional phrase to a noun phrase.

It's time for back to school! With Labor Day just around the corner, back to school is days away for many students across the nation, and for many others it has already come.  Continue reading...
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Recently, at the vibrant dog community in Chicago's Lincoln Park, a two-pound, three-month-old malti-poo puppy was engaged in a rigorous, Pepe le Pew-like program of incessantly humping every dog in his path. Well, not every dog. He did stick to pooches that were somewhat in his "league," such as my own 12-pound rat terrier, who thankfully didn't bite the preposterous puppy's head off for taking such liberties.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Age of the Aughts

"Double zeroes"? "Goose eggs"? "Diddly-squats"? Visual Thesaurus contributor Mark Peters considers the tricky question of what we should call the current decade in his latest column for Good Magazine.
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The Language Lounge removed to the Netherlands for a short break last month, with the specific mission of observing several of the various putative Dutch contributions to English on their native soil: Dutch courage, Dutch uncles, Dutch ovens, Dutch auctions, Dutch doors, Dutch hoes, and Dutch treats, to name a few.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 29-33 of 33 Articles