Many phrasal verb particles, after long use, begin to take on a life of their own that departs significantly from what common sense suggests they should mean.  Continue reading...

I was delighted to learn recently of The Sifter - A Food History Research Tool, which is a gigantic online database of historical cookbooks. What I've been doing in The Sifter initially is a kind of time travel via language.  Continue reading...

Have you ever heard of the Dunning-Kruger Effect? Explore patterns on how effects are used throughout journalism.  Continue reading...

When is it time to give in and accept the misuse and misinterpretation of common expressions?  Continue reading...

You don't need much imagination to guess why people who work in the dictionary world would be interested in new words, but the research methods for finding them are much more wide-ranging and intensive than you might imagine.  Continue reading...

The stay-at-home orders of recent months have meant a lot more time to deep-dive into etymologies, and this has led me to reflect on a thing I hadn't noticed as much before: English has a surfeit of expressions for the idea 1 + 1.  Continue reading...

Do the profound insights made by J. L. Austin and Paul Grice have any application to "conversations" in which the traffic in words is by definition all or nearly all one-way?  Continue reading...

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