Blog Excerpts

On Slate, Lexicon Valley Launches a New Language Blog

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.

Mike Vuolo, the mastermind behind Lexicon Valley (and co-host of the podcast, with Bob Garfield) made the announcement:

Why do English speakers often begin sentences with a dangling, superfluous so? What makes the "historical present" such an effective storytelling tense? Is Bob Garfield a stone-cold misogynist because he finds "vocal fry" insufferable?

These are just a few of the questions we've tackled on the podcast Lexicon Valley over the past year and a half, and we're deeply grateful to the many listeners who have tuned in. But many of you have written to request language-related content that can be consumed without headphones, which, alas, remain taboo in many workplaces (where shirking with the eyes is easier to do on the DL).

And so, until surgically implanted "in-ear" speakers (Exhibit A) are standard-issue, we bring you Lexicon Valley: The Blog. We've teamed up with the brilliant linguists at Language Log—including the University of Pennsylvania's Mark Liberman, the University of Edinburgh's Geoffrey Pullum, and's Ben Zimmer — whose new and archival posts will be featured here along with content from other contributors.

The inaugural post is Ben's consideration of whether twerk should receive dictionary treatment, and his history of the interjection meh (from Yiddish to The Simpsons) has also been featured. Happy reading!

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