A case recently argued before the US Supreme Court — by telephone! — teaches us a lot about trademarks, generic terms, and domain names.  Continue reading...
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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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Before the 20th century, generational names were rare or nonexistent. What changed? And what do the names of generations tell us about history and identity?  Continue reading...
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We'll all be doing each other a great favor by paying most of our attention to the substance of what others say, and the least of our attention to the way they say it.  Continue reading...
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Caremongering? Quarantini? Zoom-bombing? The COVID-19 pandemic has already inspired its own lexicon of coined words.  Continue reading...
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This month marks the 50th anniversary of the merger of four railroads in the United States to create the longest railroad in the world by number of miles served. I note the anniversary as an item of linguistic curiosity, in light of the many ways that railroads and trains have made their way into popular and figurative English.  Continue reading...
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