Pharmacy or marijuana dispensary?
Scott Sonner/AP Photo
Marijuana has a rich linguistic tradition. But drive by dispensaries like 'Advanced Medical Alternatives' or 'Alameda Wellness Center,' and you might think you’re passing the office of a physical therapist.
A corporate apology is always connected to the benefits it brings to the company. It is not a personal apology, it is a form of institutional positioning.
We're often less careful when talking to people we know well than we are when we talk to strangers. That can be a mistake.
What was that word again?
Language attrition can happen to people who live in a foreign context – and it can be embarrassing.
Each discipline tells us only part of the story. And so the truest picture of prehistory comes from triangulating these independent lines of evidence.
The Warrnambool potato harvest of 1881.
State Library of Victoria
Irish influence on Australian English is much like the influence of the Irish on Australians themselves — less than you’d expect on the surface, but everywhere once you start looking.
We use different grammar when speaking or writing, but the difference is so subtle that linguists were blind to it for centuries.
Spoken language evolves differently and faster than written language, and there are good reasons why this is the case.
The spread of Pama-Nyungan was likely influenced by climate.
The origin of around 300 of Australia's Aboriginal languages lies in Queensland, about 6,000 years ago.
Software tools can take multiple languages to entirely new spaces.
Software tools for South Africa’s Nguni languages may assist with redress and effective communication.
Because you’ve never seen it before, right?
Sarcasm thrives in ambiguous situations, which makes it especially ripe for misinterpretation.
The word only appears 14 times in the UK's parliamentary record between 1803 and 2005. Now it is everywhere.
What can a modern-day Creole language tell us about its first speakers in the 1600s?
New research suggests that hints left in Creole languages can identify where the original speakers came from – even hundreds of years after they migrated and mixed together.
Ursula le Guin gave us an anarchist society on another world; we brought it back to Earth.
The shithole countries comment was a landmark moment. This US president has given up even trying to hide his prejudice.
Political arguments against high Latino immigration into the U.S. often play on fears that Spanish is pushing out English in American society. It’s not.
Spanish is not overtaking English in the US, despite political fearmongering. In fact, due to the 'three-generation pattern,' Spanish speaking in immigrant families tends to decline over time.
Wes Mountain/The Conversation
'Milkshake duck', a word created in 2016 on Twitter, is the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year. Efforts to coin new words have a long history and were particularly in vogue in the 1980s.
A teacher from the Arab town of Kabul gives an Arabic class to Israeli schoolchildren.
AP Photo/Oded Balilty
We underestimate the power of language to divide and to bring people closer together, scholars say.
Let me guess where you’re from.
The world is becoming increasingly connected, but local accents still define who we are.
Perception of truth and lies changes between languages for bilingual speakers.
In cities and countries around the world, drivers use a range of hand signals to communicate with other drivers.
A sociolinguist wonders if they’ll ever be able to interpret the waves, high beams and middle fingers of human drivers.