language

#RedefineWomen Calls Out Sexist Definitions In The Google Dictionary

Since language is the root of most of our communications, the words we use and the definitions of those words directly reflect our value system. More »


Finally, An Answer For Why We Hate The Word ‘Moist’

Words are powerful. Yes, there’s the whole “sticks and stones” theory that words can’t hurt you, they can for sure make you feel uncomfortable. Broadly recently interviewed a speech specialist to see why we hate words like “moist” according to science. Finally! an answer for the world’s most pressing question and some proof that words doMore »


The Soapbox: AAVE Is A Dialect, Not Fodder For Academia To Shame

 

So, here is a list shared by Ludacris. A, more or less, teacher’s policy of how students are to speak in class, which frankly boils down to this: OMG NO SLANG EVAAAR!

When I read it, I chuckled at the quips and raised my eyebrow at the peculiarities. Are there… More »


This Business Insider Senior Editor Thinks NBA And NFL Players Do “Hood Rat Sh-t”

It’s never easy to get an assignment handed to you that’s hard to write — especially one as silly as a listicle about what constitutes a “Modern Gentleman,” but that didn’t stop Business Insider’s senior finance editor, Linette Lopez, from giving it the old college try. The other thing it didn’t stop her from? Making… More »


Let Cereal Take You On A Wild Ride Through Linguistics

If there’s one way to get me to learn about something, it’s to incorporate food into the lesson. Especially cereal, because cereal is my Achilles heel.
Anyway, Michael Stevens of the YouTube channel Vsauce has tapped into our primal cereal-craving urges to teach us about linguistics! It’s a weird, weird journey that starts with… More »


The Soapbox: Let’s Get Real When Discussing Complicated Sexual Experiences

There’s been a lot of talk lately in the media about sexual violence. Late last month, former CBC Broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi was fired amid allegations of sexual assault. A few weeks ago, Shia LaBeouf came forward with claims that he was raped during an art exhibition. And by now everyone’s heard of the sex abuse… More »


4 Reasons I Want/Need To Learn Spanish

All right, that’s it, I’m done, I have to learn Spanish. Je peux lire le français et parler un peu, so while I’d like to brush up on it to be fully fluent, I could get by in French-speaking countries. But my one year of Intensive Spanish in high school is no longer cutting it. More »


The Paternalistic Language Of Ferguson: Decoding “Curfews,” “Thugs” & A “Good Night’s Sleep”

For the last week, the world has watched Ferguson, Mo., set ablaze by racism and the calculated indifference of the town’s police force. And over the course of the same week, the media, which was slow to do any reporting at all, has now cannibalized a story about the murder of an unarmed teenager at… More »


8 Words I’d Like To Ban From Life

I spend an inordinate amount of time reading and writing and thinking about words, why they’re used, how they’re used; how sentences are structured, what human motivations are behind those structures, and what human motivations are behind the assumptions we make about language. That all being said, there are an awful lot of words that… More »


14 Cool Foreign Words With No Direct English Translation, As Illustrated By Designer Anjana Iyer

“Sure, you can borrow that Junot Diaz book. It’s in the tsundoku pile on my desk.”
As a writer, I’m totally fascinated and obsessed with language, including the absence of specific words from the English language that match fairly common experiences. Like, for example: I have a growing stack of books that I buy and then don’t read — at… More »


Woman Speaks Gibberish In A Bunch Of Different Languages, Sounds Legit

I’m obviously fluent in English, and can speak a wee bit of Italian, French and Spanish — enough to help me get by in countries where those languages are spoken, but not enough to carry on any real stimulating conversation. I’ve always been envious by people who are fluent in multiple languages, but consider me… More »


The Trouble With Alec Baldwin’s Response To Dylan Farrow’s Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Woody Allen

Late Saturday, The New York Times published an open letter written by Dylan Farrow, the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, in which Farrow, for the first time in her own words, described the sexual abuse she allegedly endured as a child at the hands of Allen. At the end of the letter, Farrow specifically… More »


This Linguistic Map Of The U.S. Fails To Take Into Account The Full Range Of “You” Expressions

I’m totally fascinated by the way people talk. Accents, vocabulary and emphasis varies so much, depending on where in the country you live. I lived in the Midwest (land of “pop,” not “soda”) until I was 9, which is probably why my speaking accent is generally pretty flat and indistinct. But I also happened to… More »


The Soapbox: On Using The C-Word

Anthony Weiner’s communications director calling a former intern a “cunt,” “slutbag” and other slurs is just one aspect of the choppy waters surrounding the sex scandal-ridden NYC mayoral candidate’s sinking campaign. But of all the what-are-they-thinking? Weiner campaign moments in the past few weeks, it is the one that has stood out in my mind. More »


Douchebags, Sluts & Boners: The Origins Of Some Of The Most Well-Known Slang Words & Insults

Boner. It hasn’t always referred to a penis, you know. In fact, in the early ’80s, there was a sitcom character named Boner, that had absolutely nothing to do with erections. But for those of us born in the ’90s, the term will likely be linked to hard-ons.

There are quite a few… More »


Finally! Someone Has Invented Punctuation For The Way People Really Talk

These days, most people use their phones for texting or as very expensive paper weights. So it makes sense that since we’re texting way more than we’re talking, we’d need to develop some extra punctuation to handle all of the little intricacies of a typing-based world. Like Mockwotations, for when you’re like “I’m totally going… More »


Be My Boyfriend: Guy Who Spent 3.5 Hours Pronouncing The World’s Longest Word

Dear Guy Who Spent 3.5 Hours Pronouncing The World’s Longest Word,

In second grade I gained a certain amount of notoriety on the playground for memorizing the spelling of “antidisestablishmentarianism,” which was, according to my teacher, the longest word in the world. Obviously Mrs. Shumaker was sorely mistaken, because the actual longest word in… More »


10 Words That Make French A Language Worth Preserving

I don’t like hearing about any languages disappearing, but the idea of French’s demise seems intolerable. Fortunately, it is also probably impossible, at least in the near future, but French is a language in decline. Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) is an organization dedicated to promoting democracy, peace, and human rights in the 70… More »


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