June 15, 2013
Words That Last
Every word has its own roots, its specific, particular route that it takes from emergence, common use and acceptance and finally, sometimes....
June 11, 2013
USA Word Maps: Who Says What Where
I’ll be the first to admit that I am a total language nerd. I find language to be the most revealing cultural artifact that any of us use. And we all use language in our own way, but, at exactly the same time, we expect others, even complete strangers...
June 05, 2013
Where Did Most European Langauges Come From?
There have been many studies and theories about the roots of the proto-European languages.
Most of the modern northern European languages have striking similarities in both vocabulary and structure, but...
May 30, 2013
Patterns of Language
Some people are naturally good at learning languages. But why?
Or perhaps a better question might be...
May 25, 2013
What Do Our Words Say About Us?
What do our words say about us over time?
The words we use, their meanings and of course…
May 20, 2013
Cursing Across The Centuries
Language, even grammar, in every culture changes constantly, but did you ever consider the idea that our sense of how proper....
May 15, 2013
Could Texting Save Endangered Languages?
I, and many others, have written about the threat that texting holds for many languages, but could texting actually be saving some rare and endangered languages?
Some people say so, I know it seems unlikely, but...
May 10, 2013
Do Words Keep The Same Meaning Over Thousands Of Years?
Do some words stay in circulation for thousands of years? Even many thousands of years? Some of those who study language...
May 05, 2013
How Does Our Language Reveal Who We Are?
How does our language express who we are? Our thoughts, our character, our identity and our deepest motives can become more obvious than we realize as we...
April 30, 2013
There are two basic kinds of languages - with only a few exceptions, every language is either tonal or atonal. Many Aisan languages for example use the same phonemes with different tones to define their meaning. As a language learner...
April 25, 2013
How Do We Talk?
Who of us even considers how we speak? We all should, because as well know, on some level at least, how we say something is at least as important as...
April 20, 2013
Inventing A Language
The primary reason English is such a complicated, difficult, frustrating and yes fascinating and enduring language is that...
April 15, 2013
More On Code-Switching
Code switching is a term to describe how we shift our tone, vocabulary and grammar when we...
April 10, 2013
Contronyms - Words With Opposite Meanings
As if English wasn't difficult enough with its arcane and inconsistent spelling rules, word roots from different languages and always-shifting meanings....
April 04, 2013
Icky And Odd Words
Are there some words that you find confusing? Annoying? Distasteful?
Yes, there are some words that we just don't like, or we may not like...
March 30, 2013
Is Language More Than Words?
Is a language more than words?
It's a strange question, I know.
Technically a language is made up of words and the rules concerning how to use them.
But is there more?
I have often thought that...
March 25, 2013
To Whom It May Concern; Is Whom Dead?
Of all the personal pronouns, 'whom' seems to be the one that...
March 20, 2013
Is Texting Killing The English Language?
English, like every language throughout history, has faced many challenges from conquest, immigration and emigration and...
March 15, 2013
Everybody Loves A Story
Yes, it's true, everybody seems to love a good story. Political, social and and religious leaders have used stories for millennia.
A good story...
March 10, 2013
Some Words To Stop Using
New words come from every vocation and experience, but there are some words that are...