In our increasingly polarized world, it may be helpful to investigate how sides came to mean things that exist in vehement opposition to each other.  Continue reading...

How do you come to know the meaning of mean, and to be comfortable with the notion of meaning?  Continue reading...

Winners of wars have traditionally sought to impose their language on the vanquished. In an era in which many believe that policies promoting diversity, tolerance, and multiculturalism are out of favor, it is encouraging that the US government and the public now seem to recognize that there aren't many benefits to this practice.  Continue reading...

Let's look at the behavior of some words in English whose primary denotation involves physical contact, physical characteristics, violent impact, and damage. How do these words behave in contexts where no physical objects are flying about?  Continue reading...

As I read Jane Austen, the question that is ever in the back of my mind is, how did she do it? Surprisingly, computers are quite helpful in discovering some of the aspects of Austen's writing that make it distinctive in the wide field of English fiction.  Continue reading...

Accurate and dependable machine translation has long been a dream among linguists and computer scientists alike. Will computers get there eventually? Possibly.  Continue reading...

Here in the Lounge, we've been thinking (not surprisingly!) about the language of the 25th Amendment.  Continue reading...

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