CLOSE

Arika Okrent

Writes about: language

Linguist, author of In the Land of Invented Languages, living in Chicago, doing her part to fight off the cot-caught merger and keep "gym shoes" alive.

Language
Burger King Finally Utters First Words for National American Sign Language Day
Big Question
Where Does ‘Rigmarole’ Come From?
Fun
17 Utterly Charming Articles on Scots Wikipedia
Language
8 Languages With Different Names for Harry Potter's Hogwarts Houses
Words
Horrible Jargon We've Totally Gotten Used To
Words
12 Words Etymologically Related to the Sense of Taste
Big Question
What Is ‘gh’ Doing in So Many English Words?
Words
Defining the Times: 8 Words People Looked Up the Week of 3/20
Language
Learn to Sing Adele's "Hello" in Latin
Words
Defining the Times: 9 Words People Looked Up the Week of 3/13
Language
Help Create a Dictionary of Southern California Words
Videos
The Double Vocabulary of English
Words
Defining the Times: 10 Words People Looked Up This Week
Art
100 People Agreed to be Tattooed for This Animated Ad
Words
25 Words Turning 25 in 2016
Videos
Words That Are Their Own Opposites
Words
Defining the Times: What Campaign Words are we Looking Up?
Words
11 Little-Known Words for Specific Family Members
Language
16 Words You Might Be Surprised Are 100 Years Old
Big Question
Why Is It 'Eleven, Twelve' Instead of 'Oneteen, Twoteen'?
List
40 Words Turning 40 In 2016
Language
The Story of the Umlaut
List
9 Little Translation Mistakes That Caused Big Problems
Language
The Grammar of 'Top Chef': What’s With 'It Eats Salty'?
Fun
14 Bowl Competitions to Look For if Football’s Not For You
Language
French Phrases Hidden in English Words
Words
10 Words With Difficult-to-Remember Meanings
Fun
12 Interpretations of Modern Art According to an Emoji Assigner
Language
Hear the Pop Song "Pompeii" Sung in the Language of Pompeii
Words
11 Words of the Year from Around the World
Big Question
Why Does ‘a Quarter of’ Mean the Same Thing as ‘a Quarter to’?
Fun
9 Emojis That Look Completely Different on Other Phones
Words
Why Do Animals Make Different Sounds in Different Languages?
Words
The American Dialect Society's Word of the Year is 'They'
Words
How Morticians Reinvented Their Job Title
Language
Hear Ed Sheeran Sing Irish Version of "Thinking Out Loud"
Big Question
Why Do We Say 'Merry' Just for Christmas?
List
7 Sentences That Sound Crazy But Are Still Grammatical
Fun
Scrabble Ad Turns The Holidays Around With 'Antigrams'
Big Question
Why Is 'Wednesday' Spelled Like That?
Fun
How To Wrap A Present With Mathematical Precision (and Waste Less Paper)
Words
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year is ‘Ism’
Big Question
How Did ‘Gross’ Become a Term of Disgust?
Language
ASL Version of 'Rudolph' Shows Amazing Storytelling Skills
Words
The Washington Post Style Guide Now Accepts Singular ‘They’
Words
Word Origins Hiding in Plain Sight
Fun
Learn ASL Internet Lingo With Top Model Nyle DiMarco
List
6 Grammar Points to Watch Out For in Christmas Songs
List
5 of the Hottest Baby-Naming Trends of 2015
Language
Why Does Germany Have So Many Different Names?
MENTAL FLOSS

newsletter

A super-skimmable daily digest.