Articles on Language

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Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron welcome German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Biarritz G7, August 2019. Francois Mori/AFP

Do you greet friends and family with a kiss? If so, how?

Why do some people greet each other with a kiss? Will the tradition last? This article is excerpted from the forthcoming "Atlas of Regional Expressions".
A document in Tengwar, the script of the Elvish languages invented by JRR Tolkien, Dozza, Italy. Luca Lorenzelli via Shutterstock

How to build a ‘perfect’ language

From Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones, writers and linguists have invented an array of new languages.
It’s a simple word with a strange history. Andrii Oleksiienko/

Curious Kids: Why do we say ‘OK’?

The word 'OK' has only been around for 180 years, but it's become the most spoken word on the planet.
Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor engage in some verbal sparring prior to their 2017 bout. AP Photo/John Locher

When does trash talking work?

Whether it frustrates or motivates your opponent can depend on the situation.

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