What factors contribute to some places having many, while other places have few?
Linguists have a lot of largely untested theories. Borrowing a tool from ecology, researchers built a model that didn't look for one worldwide explanation.
It’s a linguistic battlefield out there.
Each spin of the news cycle hits us with another 'bombshell,' while everything from free speech to race has been 'weaponized.' What's the effect of being relentlessly exposed to metaphors of war?
In Wordslut, Amanda Montell deconstructs gendered language.
The book promises to help reclaim language used against women, exploring the origins of gendered slurs. But its use of contemporary slang and lack of an index undermines its credibility.
Climate activists block the entrance to the Swiss bank UBS with a pile of coal in Basel, Switzerland earlier this summer. Climate protests are helping raise awareness about the ugliness of fossil fuels, and so too should the language we use.
(Georgios Kefalas/Keystone via AP)
If how we speak about the world we want to see is crucial in building support for climate change momentum, then what is visible and invisible, strange and normal, positive and negative, must change.
It’s the case of the missing ‘a.’
Nick Lehr/The Conversation via NASA
Armstrong always insisted that he said, 'That’s one small step for a man.' Yet everyone omits the 'a' when they repeat the quote. A linguist tries to get to the bottom of what happened.
Gestures and emoji don’t break down into smaller parts, nor do they easily combine into larger words or sentences.
Instead of worrying that emoji is replacing competent language use, we can celebrate that emoji are creating a richer form of online communication that returns the features of gesture to language.
English will remain an official EU language – even after Brexit – and this will impact the way it evolves.
The metaphors we use when we talk about gene editing shape public perception of the complexity involved.
The idea of CRISPR as scissors ignores an entire ecosystem of moving parts that are crucial for understanding the awe-inspiring, crazy thing scientists are trying to do when they attempt gene editing.
Juggling Korean, English – and Konglish.
Konglish is widely spoken in Korea but rather than celebrating it as one of a variety of Englishes used around the world, speakers are often frowned upon.
Franco-Moroccan author Leila Slimani (centre) with the president of the Goncourt prize, Bernard Pivot (third from right) and others at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair.
The influence of digital technology is most significant in how we experience culture and identity. Think about the use of streaming media.
Maybe the differences between human and non-human animals are not as great as we might previously have thought.
We're left wondering whether we as humans are so very special after all – that perhaps the ability to learn mathematics could be universal.
There’s a difference between not believing and denying the science on climate change.
Calling all people who don't agree with climate science "deniers" is neither accurate nor helpful.
When professionals, like pharmacists, are able to communicate in many languages, everyone benefits.
AS Photo Studio/Shutterstock
Vocation specific language courses can encourage both linguistic and cultural awareness. They can equip students with the basics they need to communicate.
Gayle started life as a language spoken by gay men. But its use has shifted over time.
Gayle remains as popular as ever -- but it has evolved, shifted and become a language spoken by more than just gay men.
Interpreters enable patients to be fully informed about their health condition and options for treatment.
Interpreters are essential in providing ethical and high quality health care to Australia's culturally and linguistically diverse population.
Play video games and learn a language – a researcher explains why it might be possible.
Receptionists are in the firing line when patients get disgruntled.
Analysis of 228,000 comments shows that while surgeons are likely to be called ‘outstanding’ and ‘brilliant’, receptionists are branded 'arrogant' and 'rude'. But it's not because they do a bad job.
A little lipstick doesn’t change reality.
Reuteres/Erik de Castro
Companies often go out of their way to avoid clearly explaining actions like firing people or informing investors and others of bad news.
This explains why some aspects of English can be hard to learn for speakers of other languages.
If the goal is to communicate, why should the speaker bear all the burden?
It can be hard to understand a non-native speaker of your own language. But conversation is a two-way street and linguists are figuring out how native listeners can improve their half of the interaction.