Bring Back "Scientivity" and These Other Great Old-Timey Science Words

Scientman John Borghi was browsing a century-old dictionary when he happened upon some science-themed words—including scientman (a man of knowledge), scientificalness (the quality of being scientific), and scientize (to lay down scientific principles)— he thinks we should start using again. We’d like to second the… »7/10/15 6:30pm7/10/15 6:30pm

An Illustrated History Of The Word "Dude" From 1883 To Today

“Dude” has become a remarkably versatile word that can be used to describe a variety of people or express a whole host of emotions. But when “dude” first arrived on the linguistic scene, it meant something very specific. This video traces the history of “dude” from a word to describe 19th-century hipsters to its many… »6/18/15 1:40pm6/18/15 1:40pm

Trying To Stop Words From Changing Their Meanings Is "Literally" Useless

Lately, it seems that there are few words in the English language that stir up as much semantic ire as "literally" does. As more and more people have been using "literally" to mean "really," some English speakers fret that the meaning of the word will change. But the truth is that it would hardly be the first. »3/26/15 4:10pm3/26/15 4:10pm

R.I.P. Suzette Haden Elgin: Author, Poet, Verbal Self-Defense Coach

Suzette Haden Elgin, who died last week, was a pioneer of using linguistics in science fiction, creating a whole constructed language in her novel Native Tongue. She was a giant of feminist SF. And she helped bring SF poetry to prominence, while also teaching us to defend ourselves with wit rather than bile. »2/05/15 1:47pm2/05/15 1:47pm