In Defense of Talking Funny

Not everyone in the United States speaks the same English, as a recent American Dialect quiz made very clear. In an essay originally published on her blog, Harmless Drudgery, lexicographer and Merriam-Webster editor Kory Stamper explains why that's a good thing. » 3/12/14 9:15am 3/12/14 9:15am

​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 that… » 12/12/13 1:00pm 12/12/13 1:00pm

Color-coded text reveals the foreign origins of your words

Your language is not your own. The words you speak have been borrowed, modified, and molded by the forces of linguistic evolution. And the sentences they form are not so much "English" as they are a shapeshifting hodgepodge of different languages that have intersected with English over the years. » 4/30/12 2:03pm 4/30/12 2:03pm

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