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 Does “Terrible” Mean Bad and “Terrific” Mean Good?
Fun
Watch Germans Try to Say the Word “Squirrel”
Words
9 Fun Facts About the Schwa
Words
Vote on Which New Twitter Word to Put in the Dictionary
History
How Philadelphia's Neighborhoods Got Their Names
Words
11 Places to Visit on a Tour of the English Language
Fun
Mother’s Day Cards for When You and Your Mom Have Issues
Words
5 Words That Trace Back to the Word "Mother"
Big Question
What’s the Difference Between “O” and “Oh”?
List
11 Beautiful Alphabets from Ancient and Medieval Times
Videos
The Complicated Chinese Family Tree
List
16 Characters From Other Languages That Make Great Emoticons
Words
Why Are “Rhyme” and “Rhythm” Spelled Like That?
Books
Decipher These Mysterious Margin Notes and Win $1000
Words
Fun With the Interactive Algonquian Language Map
Words
21 Wonderful Words for Wind
Words
9 Words Created by Spelling Other Words Backwards
Big Question
What’s Going on With the Philadelphia Accent?
Fun
The Most Expensive Properties in 11 Special Edition Monopoly Games
Fun
3 Awesome Translations From This Sign Language Rap Battle on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Words
11 Fun Word Lists to Drill Your Vocabulary On
Videos
Listen to a Quartet Sing While You Watch a Close-up of Their Vocal Cords
Words
Fiercety, Seriosity, Debonairity: 14 Abstract Nouns We Need to Bring Back
This Just In
Posters from the “Anyone’s Better Than Rob Ford” Campaign
Words
10 Regional Words From Waaaay Northern Michigan
Words
Don’t Use “Pants” for “Pantaloons”: 19 Surprising Rules Copyeditors Used to Enforce
Music
12 Scientific Postulates Perfectly Paired With Rap Lyrics
Fun
18 Famous Literary First Lines Perfectly Paired With Rap Lyrics
TV
9 Scientific Experiments That Used '90s TV Shows to Manipulate Subjects
List
7 Ways to Improve Your Online Dating Profile With the Power of Words
List
8 Ad Taglines that Sneakily Ding the Competition
Words
4 Good Reasons Why People Say “I Could Care Less”
Words
12 Animals Whose Names Etymologically Describe Them
Words
Why Does "Will Not" Become "Won't"?
Words
11 Words and Phrases Popularized by World War I
List
4 Surprising Things Facebook Has Learned From Your Relationship Status
Words
How to Write the Sound of a Kiss
Fun
Google Translating "Let It Go" into Many Languages and Back into English
Science
11 Naughty-Sounding Scientific Names (and What They Really Mean)
Music
4 Crazy, Early Foreign Language Versions of Beatles Songs
Big Question
How Do You Pronounce "Sochi"?
Words
The Evolution of Facebook's Pronoun Problem
Sports
Deaf People Invented the Football Huddle…and Then Stopped Using It
Big Question
Why Does Q (Almost) Always Go With a U?
Music
Hear "Let It Go" From Disney's Frozen Sung in 25 Languages
Music
3 Motown Greats Who Recorded German Versions of Their Hits
List
Prii? LEGO? 11 Brand Names With Plural Problems
List
17 Slogans on Town Welcome Signs You Won't See Anywhere Else
List
11 Inscriptions on Old Buildings That Tell It Like It Is
List
13 Words of the Year from Other Countries
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