Linguistically, it seems, the second decade of the 21st century was all about our selves. At its annual meeting the American Dialect Society selected (my) pronouns as its word of the year for 2019 and singular or nonbinary they as the word of the decade.  Continue reading...
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We are now far beyond the day when a product might be distinguished from its competitors with descriptors such as mild, strong, or rich. Lately I'm noticing what is surely a very common trope in consumer marketing: the enhancement of an adjectival descriptor for a product by introducing it with an adverbial.  Continue reading...
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John Donne's poem The Undertaking, published in the early 17th century, suggests that forgetting the he and she would be "a braver thing than all the Worthies did." In a way, that is the same problem that's currently being considered in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Continue reading...
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October marks the centenary of the Volstead Act, the enabler of Prohibition. This occasion licenses the Language Lounge to pop the corks a bit early and look at the linguistic legacy of the Prohibition era.  Continue reading...
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A valuable new tool has become available for linguists — armchair and professional alike — to explore the language of contemporary news.  Continue reading...
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Metaphors about space come at us so thick and fast in talking about the digital world that we don't even notice that they are there, and that's probably a good thing: it helps us to make sense of complicated phenomena.  Continue reading...
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Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language is a sparkling new book by the linguist Gretchen McCulloch whose title is both a description and an example of one of the "new rules."  Continue reading...
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