Though somewhat undistinguished as a bird, snipe has developed a surprisingly diverse set of meanings as an English word.
I was hearing “witch hunt” so often that a few weeks ago I experienced semantic satiation, in which repetition causes a phrase to lose meaning and be perceived as nothing but empty sounds.
Word of the Year 2018 selections provide a glimpse into the preoccupations of English-speakers.
Why is it overwhelmingly “Merry Christmas” in America, but “Happy Christmas” for many British people?
Participants listen to speakers outside City Hall during the Women's March in a -22 Celsius (8 Fahrenheit) wind chill snowstorm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Jan. 19.
While researching medlars I discovered that there’s a wonderful old word, dating back to Shakespeare as well, that’s still employed by botanists to categorize fruit: climacteric.
Stress isn’t only important for proper pronunciation – sometimes it actually distinguishes the meaning of words.
A look at the achievements of linguist William Labov, who is a pioneer in the study of the sociocultural aspects of language.
Whatever the source of the word shark, it was contact with the Americas that brought the category to wide awareness in England.
The list of words that English has adopted from Native American languages could go on for hundreds of pages and include vocabulary in the spheres of technology, politics, and insult.
Even though inflammable is a lovely word with the authority of history on its side, we should probably give it up.
Jugaad is a Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi word for 'thinking outside the box' to find innovative, low-cost solutions to problems.
English tends to gobble up useful foreign words. Some wonderful words are not even knocking on the door of English, however.
We now have a rough consensus that an apostrophe signals the possessive and a plain s the plural, although there is still debate about a few points.
Over the centuries, a surprising number of theologians and linguists have tried to 'reverse Babel' and create universally intelligible languages.
Less noise. More insight.