Blog Profile / Slate: Lexicon Valley

Filed Under:Academics / Linguistics
Posts on Regator:841
Posts / Week:1.8
Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Why The F— Do We Do This and Why The —k Don’t We Do That?

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. OK, look at this f—ing s—. And this f—king sh—. And this f–cking sh–t. And how about this s—t? Really, who are the c—s, c—ts, or c–nts who do that? And,Show More Summary

Elie Wiesel’s Profound and Paradoxical Language of Silence

Elie Wiesel, the Nobel prize-winning Holocaust survivor who died last week at 87, was a prolific author. He was an outspoken activist. He was a distinguished professor and lifelong student of long-standing cultural and religious traditions...Show More Summary

"Krup You!" No More: How Broadway Learned to Swear

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. When Stephen Sondheim was writing the lyrics for “Gee, Officer Krupke,” to be sung in the 1957 musical West Side Story, he was hoping to be the first person...Show More Summary

Branger. Debression. Oexit. Zumxit. Why Did Brexit Trigger a Brexplosion of Wordplay?

Stocks plunged. Political parties imploded. Fear flared. Europe as we know it quaked. The world freaked out last Friday after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, or “Brexit,” the now-household blend of British and exit the process is going by. Show More Summary

When Lyrics Were Clean, Almost

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. The Greek philosopher Plato wrote, “Forms and rhythms in music are never altered without producing changes in the entire fabric of society.” He also said,...Show More Summary

What Happened to All of Baby’s Articles and Pronouns?

“When it comes to breastfeeding,” author Shannon Payette Seip opens If These Boobs Could Talk, “people want to know: How is baby doing? Is she latching on? Is he eating well? How is baby’s weight gain?” Her wry lament continues: “Baby this, baby that. Show More Summary

Donald Trump is Really Maybe Dependent on This Verbal Cartwheel   

Donald Trump is not a master of oratory. Within speeches, he meanders. From speech to speech, he repeats himself. Nobody cares. The point of his performances is that you can see him thinking, acting, in real time. You can see the struggle...Show More Summary

It’s Time We Got a Handle on Circle Jerks

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. Today we’re going to answer the question “What the fuck is a circle jerk?” so you don’t end up like Melissa Rauch’s parents. To begin with, what’s the difference between a circle jerk and a clusterfuck? That’s a reasonable enough question. Show More Summary

You Don’t Care if Someone Is Black, White, Green, or Purple? You Should!

Last week, Fox sports reporter Emily Austen received an official reprimand for her “insensitive and derogatory” remarks during a live Facebook video. “I didn’t even know Mexicans were that smart,” Austen had marveled, reflecting on the undocumented Texas student who earned a full ride to the University of Texas at Austin. Show More Summary

THIS. Why So Much This?

Recently in the New York Times, Alexander Stern posited an ontology of our rampant tendency to categorize even the most mundane minutia of our lives as “a thing.” For the paper’s Magazine, meanwhile, Jody Rosen examined our hyperbolic...Show More Summary

A Brief, Inglorious History of “Not Politicizing Tragedy”

In the wake of a horrific shooting—the deadliest in American history—at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early Sunday, our eyes turned to the prominent politicians of the day. How would they respond? Would they make meaningless noises...Show More Summary

King Lear: The Anti-Vagina Monologues 

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. Many extol King Lear as Shakespeare’s greatest play. Some even vaunt it as the very height of the Western canon. For their claims, they point, inter alia, to the strength of the tragedy’s language. Show More Summary

Irish Bards Could Kill Rats with Their Magical Poetry Powers

There is a bizarre moment in Shakespeare’s As You Like It when the heroine Rosalind finds little love poems for her scattered in the woods. “I was never so berhymed,” she remarks in surprise, “since Pythagoras’ time that I was an Irish...Show More Summary

Tronc Is Bad News for Good Journalism

Tribune Publishing Company—the publisher of storied newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, LA Times and Baltimore Sun—raised eyebrows last week when it announced that effective later this month it will change its name to the dubious...Show More Summary

“I Done Handcuffed Lightning”: The Exuberant Spoken-Word Poetry of Muhammad Ali    

Muhammad Ali, who died Friday at 74, inspired glorious prose from a murderer’s row of marquee writers: Norman Mailer, Robert Lipsyte, and David Remnick, not to mention a generation of hip-hop artists. “He had been a splendidly plumed bird who wrote on the wind a singular kind of poetry of the body,” rhapsodized sports journalist Mark Kram in 1975. Show More Summary

Lovingly, Stridently, Unapologetically

Who will be the Lorax for the adverb, that most-maligned part of speech? Who will speak on the adverb’s behalf? For once again, it would seem, it is under attack. Christian Lorentzen’s New York Magazine piece, “Could We Just Lose Adverbs...Show More Summary

(((The Jewish Cowbell))): Unpacking a Gross New Meme from the Alt-Right

From every Internet niche comes a native shorthand, so we should not be surprised that includes putrescent swampy niches from the putrescent swamps of Twitter. New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman shared his war story in the paper: The...Show More Summary

The Hollywood Studio Proudly Named for an Arabic Swear Word

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. This is the story of a bygone Hollywood recording studio whose name was an acronym for a sweary Arabic-Yiddish (and also maybe Turkish) epithet. I learned...Show More Summary

Why You Shouldn’t Use This Ambiguous, if Not Wholly Befuddling, Construction

I predict that people commenting on this article will be dismissive, if not hostile. What do I mean by that? Am I predicting that commenters will be dismissive, and possibly even hostile? Or am I predicting that commenters will be dismissive,...Show More Summary

Meet Themself, Our Next Gender-Neutral Singular Pronoun

The singular they is gaining acceptance as a resourceful solution to English’s lack of a gender-neutral singular pronoun. But it’s not settling in without controversy. What’ll be next? critics fear. Themself? As in, Jo went to see the movie all by themself? Actually, yes. Show More Summary

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