Thoughts on language rights and language learning as International Mother Language Day is observed.
A little hygge may be just what we need as we head into the northern winter.
When civilization seems to be under pressure in the ‘post-truth’ era, the public library helps hold things together.
We don’t know the roots of ‘gig,’ but its sound symbolism suggests a certain resilience – which we’re all going to need.
Data cruncher extraordinaire Josh Katz has turned the responses he got to his fascinating online dialect quiz into a new book.
Before the holiday, a look at the roots of our vocabulary of gratitude.
Unraveling the mysteries of proper names.
A look at how some odd place names may – or may not – have come to be.
Does a term borrowed from Arthurian legend get maybe too much of a workout in the news media?
After year-end remembrances of the dear departed, a look at why we call them ‘late.’
A look at three idioms for different kinds of ‘distance’ – literal and figurative.
If you've read 'Verbal Energy' over the past year, you'll have all the answers.
‘Elite’ has become such a pejorative over the last while; let’s take a look at its roots and its word kin.
At right, Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey, celebrates with forward Dekeiya Cohen, after they defeated Texas in an NCAA college basketball game on Monday, in Austin, Texas.
A look at the many meanings of a useful little word – and those of its evil twin.
An official form that must be filed with 12 copies prompts some musings on how hardworking the metaphor ‘folding’ is in our language.
A look at an inspired metaphor for talking about the courtroom problem of tainted testimony in court.
The longtime voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers sometimes broadcast the game by knowing when to shut up.
An account of how one of the Chelsea bombs was foiled introduces a colorful bit of New York City slang.
A vintage Disney cartoon has some profound insights for today’s drivers.
The man in the white suit takes on Darwin and Chomsky.
There’s a special way to speak of someone who tells ‘the truth,’ and ‘nothing but the truth,’ but not quite ‘the whole truth.’
A look at how two identical words of very different origin drifted into one – and provided a perfect term for just this time of year.
In light of the incident of the American Olympians in Rio, a look at the vocabulary of overstatement, understatement.
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