The recent discovery of Octlantis, an undersea community of octopuses just off the eastern coast of Australia, is a reminder of how a novel blend can perfectly name a new phenomenon, no matter how wild or multi-tentacled. Continue reading...
There's some pretty terrific vocabulary associated with bleak situations. So grab a gherkin and savor these words related to pickles, muddles, and other forms of trouble. Continue reading...
Sure, the infamous pirates of the past have earned their reputation as murderous thieves. But the modern image of the swashbuckler is often more goofy than grim. Take for instance Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is vocabulary booty. There's so much more to pirate parlance than "matey" and "ahoy!" Continue reading...
Lee's General Order No. 9, an address to his troops one day after the surrender that effectively ended The Civil War, contains vocabulary that conveys just how long and bitter the battle had been, and communicates both Lee's gratitude and uncertainty. Continue reading...
Celebrate this St. Patrick's Day with one of the gifts the Irish gave us which we enjoy all year round — the gift of words. Continue reading...
Intensive purposes? Slight of hand? Linguist Adam Cooper contemplates phrases whose meanings are in transition as we replace unfamiliar words fossilized with language that sounds more reasonable to our modern ears. Continue reading...
Many verbs that entail some advanced cognitive capacity are commonly used in predicates for subjects that are not human. All speakers are comfortable with sentences like "Verizon revamps mobile plans and ends 2-year contracts & subsidies." Most speakers, however, reject sentences like "Microsoft is vividly imagining a purple square." Continue reading...
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