Articles Elsewhere

Lexicon Valley (Slate podcast and blog):

A Drone, a Bell, and a Suffix. It’s a Real Humdinger! (Episode 71, Oct. 19, 2015)

Yogi Berra Turned Linguistic Vice Into Virtue With His Cockeyed Tautologies (Sept. 23, 2015)

An Ambitious Enterprise, Quixotic and Unavailing (Episode 69, Sept. 21, 2015)

Why Do Latin Americans Call English Speakers Gringos? (Episode No. 67, Aug. 24, 2015)

A Non-French Speaker Won the French Language Scrabble Championship. How Is That Possible? (Aug. 5, 2015)

Assessing Jeb Bush’s Bilingualism (Aug. 5, 2015)

The Jittery History of a Very Nervous Phrase (Episode No. 65, July 27, 2015)

LinguaFile XIII: Don’t Be a Clown! (Episode No. 63, June 29, 2015)

Guess the Mystery Word! (Episode No. 61, June 1, 2015)

Did Bill Simmons Get Fired for “Testicular Fortitude”? Where Does the Phrase Come From? (May 11, 2015)

Attention Southerners: Here’s Why You Love Seersucker (Episode No. 59, May 4, 2015)

Why Is Pumpernickel Bread Named for a Farting Devil? (Episode No. 57, Apr. 6, 2015)

Two Theories on the Origin of Carnival (Episode No. 55, Mar. 9, 2015)

Did the Word Quiz Result From a Bet? (Episode No. 53, Feb. 10, 2015)

The Etymology of Cockamamie Is Just That (Episode No. 51, Jan. 12, 2015)

How Stuart Scott Made Booyah His Own (Jan. 5, 2015)

Too Much Grog Will Make You Groggy. But Where Does Grog Come From? (Episode No. 49, Dec. 15, 2014)

Help Solve the Mystery! Where Did Get One’s Goat Come From? (Episode No. 47, Nov. 17, 2014)

Can John Leguizamo Put a Pretty Face on Fugly? (Nov. 7, 2014)

LinguaFile IV: Where Did the Word Snark Come From? (Episode No. 45, Oct. 20, 2014)

Czar Wars (Oct. 17, 2014)

LinguaFile III: Which Came First: Orange the Color or Orange the Fruit? (Episode No. 43, Sept. 23, 2014)

LinguaFile II: Can You Guess the Mystery Word? (Episode No. 41, Aug. 25, 2014)

LinguaFile I: Where Did Discombobulate Come From? (Episode No. 39, July 28, 2014)

Pangrammatic Tweets! (June 6, 2014)

Don’t Print Stupid S%#t: Should Newspapers Censor The ‘Obama Doctrine’? (June 4, 2014)

How the Letter “K” Landed a Turkish Columnist in Jail (May 2, 2014)

Sorry, That’s Not an Emoticon in a 1648 Poem 🙁 (Apr. 15, 2014)

How Sid Caesar Learned Double-Talk (Feb. 14, 2014)

An Olympic Snowboarder Said “Huck It,” and the BBC Freaked Out (Feb. 9, 2014)

A Reporter Said “Screw the Pooch” on Face the Nation. Where Does That Phrase Come From? (Jan. 14, 2014)

Nancy Pelosi Told House Democrats to “Embrace the Suck.” Where Did That Phrase Come From? (Dec. 13, 2013)

No, a Drunken Australian Man Did Not Coin the Word Selfie (Nov. 22, 2013)

Batman bin Suparman Arrested on Drug Charges. Here’s How He Got His Name. (Nov. 11, 2013)

How Did @#$%&! Come to Represent Profanity? (Oct. 9, 2013)

Did Stalin Really Coin “American Exceptionalism”? (Sept. 27, 2013)

WTF Is Older and More Flexible Than You Think (Sept. 18, 2013)

A History of Meh, from Leo Rosten to Auden to The Simpsons (Sept. 6, 2013)

Of Course Twerk Should Be in the Dictionary (Sept. 4, 2013)

The Linguistic Power of the Protest Phrase “I Can’t Breathe” (Dec. 15, 2014)

Yahoo Movies:

Maleficent, Voldemort, and Gordon Gekko: The Secret to a Good Villain Name (May 30, 2014)

The Atlantic:

Google’s Ngram Viewer Goes Wild (Oct. 17, 2013)
With the addition of wildcard search-term capabilities, Google’s fabulous language-analysis tool gets even more powerful.

Bigger, Better Google Ngrams: Brace Yourself for the Power of Grammar (Oct. 18, 2012)
An update to Google’s Ngram Viewer gives us a much deeper portrait of how English is changing, but still has some weaknesses.

The Rise of the Zuckerverb: The New Language of Facebook (Sept. 30, 2011)
This is what happens when language is optimized for social data-mining rather than natural communication.

The Corpus in the Court: ‘Like Lexis on Steroids’ (Mar. 4, 2011)
Say goodbye to the dictionary definition. Courts, long dependent on the vagaries of language, have new quantitative tools they can use to precisely pin down how words are used.

Is It Time to Welcome Our New Computer Overlords? (Feb. 17, 2011)
IBM’s Watson computer’s sense of language isn’t as human as it might seem.

American Speech:

Among the New Words (May 2015, pp. 214-229) [pdf]
(with Jane Solomon and Charles E. Carson)
Here we continue our consideration of the words nominated in the 2014 Word of the Year (WOTY) proceedings at the annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, on January 8–11, 2015.

Among the New Words (February 2015, pp. 84-105) [pdf]
(with Jane Solomon and Charles E. Carson)
In Portland, Oregon, on January 9, 2015, the American Dialect Society’s 2014 Word of the Year proceedings attracted a packed room of attendees, as well as some national media attention. We will cover the Word of the Year nominees in two installments for the Spring and Summer issues. This first installment covers items in the alphabetic range from “bae” to “misogynoir.”

Among the New Words (Winter 2014, pp. 470-496) [pdf]
(with Jane Solomon and Charles E. Carson)
A burgeoning area of the English lexicon is in the realm of gender and sexual identity. Members of gender and sexual minorities have, in recent years, carved out a plethora of identities by means of lexical labels. A spirit of inclusivity has allowed all manner of identity-building beyond the traditional gender binary of male and female, often shared in online forums.

Among the New Words (Fall 2014, pp. 348-374) [pdf]
(with Jane Solomon and Charles E. Carson)
In the past two installments of “Among the New Words,” we took an extended look at the words nominated in the 2013 Word of the Year proceedings at the American Dialect Society’s annual meeting. While there were many worthy contenders, many more never made it to the final list of words nominated in the various categories.

Among the New Words (Summer 2014, pp. 190-207) [pdf]
(with Jane Solomon and Charles E. Carson)
This installment of “Among the New Words” continues the consideration of words nominated in the 2013 Word of the Year proceedings at the annual meeting in Minneapolis on January 2–4, 2014.

Among the New Words (Spring 2014, pp. 89-110) [pdf]
(with Jane Solomon and Charles E. Carson)
The American Dialect Society’s 2013 Word of the Year proceedings, held at the society’s annual meeting in Minneapolis on January 2–4, 2014, once again resulted in a rich array of new and newly popular lexical items that achieved prominence over the course of the year.

Among the New Words (Winter 2013, pp. 467-488) [pdf]
(with Jane Solomon and Charles E. Carson)
When, at its January 2010 meeting, the American Dialect Society selected the verb “google” as the Word of the Decade, it was an indication of just how powerful technology brands have come to be in our lexicon. It also demonstrated how easily we can take a popular brand name and make it morphologically productive.

Among the New Words (Summer 2013, pp. 196-214) [pdf]
(with Charles E. Carson)
Here we continue our consideration of the nominees in the 2012 Word of the Year proceedings at the American Dialect Society’s annual meeting held in Boston on January 3–5, 2013.

Among the New Words (Spring 2013, pp. 81-99) [pdf]
(with Charles E. Carson)
At the American Dialect Society’s annual meeting in Boston on January 3–5, 2013, the society’s 2012 Word of the Year proceedings yielded a bumper crop of new and newly prominent lexical items. So rich was the field that we have divided our treatment of the nominees into two installments for the Spring and Summer issues. This installment covers the first alphabetical range, up to and including the overall winner, hashtag.

Among the New Words (Winter 2012, pp. 491-510) [pdf]
(with Charles E. Carson)
The presidential election cycle guarantees a quadrennial infusion of new items into the political lexicon, and the overheated campaign rhetoric of 2012 did not disappoint on this score.

Among the New Words (Fall 2012, pp. 350-368) [pdf]
(with Charles E. Carson)
This is the second of a two-part excursion into the fragmented world of twenty-first-century popular music genres and subgenres.

Among the New Words (Summer 2012, pp. 190-207) [pdf]
(with Charles E. Carson)
Though the “genrefication” of contemporary popular music is nothing new, there is no question that the music industry has in recent years seen a rapid proliferation of niche genres and subgenres.

Among the New Words (Spring 2012, pp. 89-106) [pdf]
(with Charles E. Carson)
Record-breaking attendance marked the American Dialect Society’s 2011 Word of the Year proceedings, held at the annual meeting of the ADS in Portland, Oregon, January 5–7, 2012.

Among the New Words (Winter 2011, pp. 454-479) [pdf]
(with Charles E. Carson)
For contemporary word-watchers, it is difficult to avoid the ubiquity of Internet memes.

Among the New Words (Fall 2011, pp. 355-376) [pdf]
(with Charles E. Carson and Laurence R. Horn)
As a generator of new words in English, the prefix “un-” has a long and distinguished pedigree.

Among the New Words (Summer 2011, pp. 192-214) [pdf]
(with Charles E. Carson)
This year marks the 70th anniversary of “Among the New Words”: Dwight L. Bolinger brought the feature to the pages of American Speech in 1941, after previously writing the new-word column “The Living Language” for the Los Angeles-based magazine Words.

Guggenheim Online Forum

The Name Game (Apr. 23-27, 2012)
A good name may be literal or it may seem like poetry. What can linguistics, semiotics, literature, and marketing tell us about what makes a “successful” name? (Sessions 1, 2, 3, live chat)

Lapham’s Quarterly

Reconsiderations: Word for Word (Spring 2012)
A reconsideration of the thesaurus as a 21st-century writing tool.

New York Magazine, Vulture blog:

Chinglish Playwright David Henry Hwang on Bringing Mandarin to Broadway, Growing Up Chinese-American, and Translation Fails (Oct. 27, 2011)
“I visited a new cultural center in Shanghai in 2005 that was pretty much perfect, except for the really badly translated Chinglish signs: a handicapped restroom that said ‘Deformed Man’s Toilet,’ that kind of thing.”

American Anthropologist:

On the Road to “On Language” (June 2011, pp. 344–345)
Second part of dialogic review of “On Language” review (First part by Robert Moore)

Duke University Press Log:

On the Trail of New Words, from “App” to “Nom” (Mar. 30, 2011)

Dictionary Society of North America (DSNA) Newsletter:

William Safire (1929–2009) (Vol. 33, No. 2, Fall 2009)

Was Cronkite Really the First “Anchorman”? (July 18, 2009)
How we came to use the term.

Czar Wars (Dec. 29, 2008)
How did a term for Russian royalty work its way into American government?

Who First Put “Lipstick on a Pig”? (Sept. 10, 2008)
The origins of the porcine proverb.

Pro·cras·ti·na·tion (May 14, 2008)
How we got a word for “putting things off.”

Keeping Up With the Smoneses (Aug. 16, 2006)
Are American newlyweds blending their last names?

How Does the Pentagon Say “Body Bag”? (Apr. 4, 2006)
Hint: It’s not “transfer tube.”

Spreading the Word (Apr. 23, 2009)
How language is made and why it grows.

“From A to Zimmer” (Column on OUPblog):

Building the Ultimate Spelling Bee (Oct. 30, 2008)

The Last Word (Apr. 10, 2008)

Intractable Usage Disputes: “Less” and “None” (Feb. 7, 2008)

The Super Bowl and Super Tuesday: How’d They Get So “Super”? (Jan. 31, 2008)

“Big-Up” on the Rise (Jan. 24, 2008)

“Primary” Colors (Jan. 17, 2008)

“Subprime” Ready for Prime Time (Jan. 10, 2008)

Should “Decimate” be Annihilated? (Jan. 3, 2008)

Our Nameless Decade: What “Aught” We Call It? (Dec. 27, 2007)

Quixotic Coinages: The Failure of the Epicene Pronoun (Dec. 20, 2007)

From “Nuclear Winter” to “Carbon Summer” (Dec. 13, 2007)

New Words on the Block: Back When “Movies” Were Young (Dec. 6, 2007)

The Shocking Story of “Tase” (Nov. 29, 2007)

“Word of the Year” Mania! (Nov. 15, 2007)

How Do “Miss Steaks” Go Unnoticed? It’s Along Story (Nov. 8, 2007)

When Spellcheckers Attack: Perils of the Cupertino Effect (Nov. 1, 2007)

Extending the History of Words: The Case of “Ms.” (Oct. 25, 2007)

Are We Giving Free Rei(g)n to New Spellings? (Oct. 18, 2007)

Dictionary Day is Coming… Oct. 11, 2007

One-Hit Wonders: From Hapax to Googlewhacks (Oct. 4, 2007)

The Lowly Hyphen: Reports of Its Death are Greatly Exaggerated (Sept. 27, 2007)

Oomphy Wordsmithery of the Anglosphere: New Entries in the Shorter OED (Sept. 20, 2007)

How the OED Got Shorter (Sept. 13, 2007)

The Joy (and Sorrow) of “Schadenfreude” (Sept. 6, 2007)

Prepositions: “Dull Little Words” or Unsung Linguistic Heroes? (Aug. 30, 2007)

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedalianism! (Aug. 23, 2007)

“Mob” Mentality, from Jonathan Swift to Karl Rove (Aug. 16, 2007)

Phrasal Patterns 2: Electric Boogaloo (Aug. 9, 2007)

Pouring New Wine Into Old Phrasal Bottles (Aug. 2, 2007)

Compounding Carbon Confusion (July 26, 2007)

A Poptastic Geekfest for Infoholics (July 19, 2007)

Shifting Idioms: An Eggcornucopia (July 12, 2007)

Tracking the Most Miniscule, Uh, Minuscule of Errors (July 5, 2007)

On the Front Lines of English, from “Thirdhand Smoke” to “Newsrotica” (June 28, 2007)