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.

Big Question
Why Do Some People Say "Yuge" Instead of "Huge"?
Language
Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year Is an Emoji
Words
15 Basic Words That Are Etymological Mysteries
Language
How One Institution is Helping to Revive the Lakota Language
Words
12 Old Words that Survived by Getting Fossilized in Idioms
Big Question
Why Did ‘Disabled’ Replace ‘Handicapped’ As the Preferred Term?
Language
Translation Error Announces "Clitoris Festival" in Spain
List
7 Things You Should Know About Sign Language
List
8 Ancient Writing Systems That Haven't Been Deciphered Yet
Language
New Nutella Campaign Celebrates the Many Dialects of Italy
Big Question
Why Is There An ‘R’ in Mrs.?
Language
How Past Generations' Slang Became Today's Vocabulary
Sports
How Very Polite Canadians Do a Sports Riot
List
10 Language Mistakes Kids Make That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Language
Peruvian Teen Sensation Sings Michael Jackson in Quechua
Language
11 Examples of the Odd Dialect Called EU English
Words
10 Most Relevant or Memorable Words from the Democratic Debate
Words
Fancier Words for the Shapes in Your World
Language
9 Different Spanish Accents, Hilariously Explained
Words
9 Linguistic ‘Ignorantisms’ Even Sticklers Got Used To
Books
Dothraki Creator Has New Guide to Art of Language Invention
Words
35 Creative Slang Terms for Death from the Past 600 Years
Language
17 Computer-Generated Hipster Baby Names No One Else Has Yet
Language
This Conversational Strategy May Be a Language Universal
Language
Beautiful 1847 Map Shows the Many Languages of France
Language
See the Same Sentence in 17 Different Sign Languages
Language
How Did Language Begin?
Words
6 of the Least Presidential Words Used in the Second GOP Debate
Words
19 Cromulent Words You Can Still Adopt for a Good Cause
Language
4 Fake Grammar Rules You Don't Need to Worry About
Fun
Watch This Weatherman Casually Say 58-Letter-Long Welsh Town Name
Language
The Evolution of ‘Two’ in the Indo-European Language Family
Big Question
Why do Americans say ‘Uh’ and ‘Um’ and British People Say ‘Er’ and ‘Erm’?
Language
8 Brands with Punctuation Problems
List
12 Creepy Lullabies From Around the World That Will Keep You Up at Night
Videos
Where Do the Days of the Week Get Their Names?
Afternoon Map
1936 Map of the Dogs of All Nations
Big Question
Why Does the Airplane Oxygen Mask Have a Bag That “May Not Inflate”?
Afternoon Map
The Most Popular Emoji in Each State
Words
15 Ripsniptious Faux-Educated Words of the 19th Century
Language
18 Most Relevant Words (By Candidate) from the GOP Debates
Words
How One Mysterious Medical Case Helped Map the Brain
Language
The Subtle Genius of Minionese
Words
15 Pairs of Different Words That Surprisingly Come From the Exact Same Source
Words
New World Champ of French Scrabble Doesn’t Speak Any French
Big Question
Is a Microphone a ‘Mic’ or a ‘Mike’?
Words
Why Does 'Terrible' Mean Bad and 'Terrific' Mean Good?
Language
What Does ‘Understand’ Have to do With Standing Under?
Big Question
What’s With The New Yawk Accent?
Language
The Poet Who Traveled the U.S. Speaking Only Faroese
MENTAL FLOSS

newsletter

A super-skimmable daily digest.