​The secret origins of nerd, dork, and other things you've been called

No longer are the terms "nerd" and "geek" used as insults. We have taken them back from those who would mock us, and now wear them with pride. But those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it, and thus it is helpful to know what these terms originally meant, and where they came from. If only so we know… » 12/12/13 1:00pm 12/12/13 1:00pm

Why there's a "b" in the word "doubt"

English is widely recognized as one of the world's most difficult languages, due in no small part to its deep, highly irregular orthography. Niggling quirks in pronunciation, freaky verb conjugations, and seemingly non-sensical spelling conventions can all make English downright bewildering, even to native speakers.… » 12/18/12 8:00am 12/18/12 8:00am

A brief history of four letter words

"Scumbag," sounds like the kind of hokey insult that would get you laughed at if you used it. When it was used in a New York Times, it got protests from some older readers, because once upon a time it meant "a used condom." Think about every time you've seen Batman refer, in children's cartoon, to criminals as scum,… » 5/24/12 6:30pm 5/24/12 6:30pm