Linguistics

Don’t Believe a Word!

Do you want to get a serious look at linguistics from an author who writes clearly for a general audience? If so, read David Shariatmadari’s Don’t Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth about Language. When I say it’s for a general audience, you… Read More ›

Quidditch in Yiddish, etc

Surely you want to read the Harry Potter books in their new Yiddish translation, don’t you? “But I don’t read Yiddish!” you exclaim. That’s admittedly a handicap. But you can make some progress by sounding out the Hebrew letters (with… Read More ›

Words for Granted

Don’t take words for granted. But do take Words for Granted. What can that possibly mean? Words for Granted is a pop-linguistics “podcast about how words change over time,” in their own words. They’re going strong at 83 episodes so… Read More ›

Gender or gender?

Is sex the same thing as gender? When I was learning a little Latin and less French in middle school, I learned that gender was nothing but a grammatical category, having little or nothing to do with sex. Why should… Read More ›