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.
English never hesitates to borrow words that would lose certain subtleties in translation, and angst, ennui, and weltschmerz have made their way into English by offering a little something extra.... READ ON
The world of homophones is not as innocent as it may seem.... READ ON
"It will enable you to measure every man’s merit."... READ ON
The two prefixes are not equivalent.... READ ON
The government guidelines for place names on product labels can be quite complex.... READ ON
On July 14, 1789, the French Revolution began with the storming of the Bastille prison. The Bastille has become such an important historical symbol that visitors to Paris seeking to get a look inside the fortress are often surprised to discover that it’s no longer there—it was demolished soon after its fall. But there are still a few places where you can see a piece of the original.... READ ON
Do you ever go on such an epic internet rant you just feel you’ve run out of words with which to hammer your enemies? Do you want to up your game without resorting to the tired tropes of excretion and sexual metaphors? Next time pull out these fancy insults and really class up the joint while you twist the dagger.... READ ON
When it comes to horizontal refreshment, a little mystery goes a long way.... READ ON
We now have the processing power, and mountains of language data, to automate all kinds of useful language tasks, from translation to reading messy handwriting. These automatic text generators may not be, strictly speaking, useful, but usefulness was never what we really loved about language anyway.... READ ON
Pentheraphobia is the persistent fear of your mother-in-law.