Blog Profile / Slate: Lexicon Valley

Filed Under:Academics / Linguistics
Posts on Regator:827
Posts / Week:1.9
Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

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

The Fascinating Lexicography of a Dirty Adjective

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. Sometime in the 20 th century, shit—having already long been a verb and then a noun—also became an adjective, as in He was a shit teacher or That restaurant has shit service. Show More Summary

Dear Journalists: For the Love of God, Please Stop Calling Your Writing Content    

The word content is creeping into journalism, which scares the hell out of me. You see it in the job listings. Politico is hiring a reporter who will “deliver the kind of content our subscribers have come to expect.” Time Inc. is recruiting...Show More Summary

Cheesy, Syrupy, Corny: Why Do We Describe Art We Dislike As If It Tastes Bad?

So much negative aesthetic criticism appears to take place in the kitchen. Saccharine and corny, schmaltzy and sour. Hammy, cheesy, vanilla. Applied synesthetically, visual and sonic descriptors often exalt creative work: A singer’s voice is shimmering, a film sequence is jazzy. Show More Summary

Sometimes, Reporters ?Should Clean Up Ungrammatical Quotes

A few weeks ago, sportswriter Brian T. Smith wrote a column for the Houston Chronicle about an outfielder for the Astros, Carlos Gomez, who has gotten off to a slow start this season. Smith interviewed the Dominican-born Gomez and quoted...Show More Summary

Why Are You Talking to Your Dog Instead of to Me? 

Not long ago, I lived in an apartment complex that billed itself as a “modern living community.” It was furnished with a nice pool, a community room, grills, a gym. It even had a dog run for its canine tenants. This was the perfect place to meet some new people, I thought. Show More Summary

Shakespearean Slang

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. While we flip the bird at explicit language advisories on this blog, I do want to issue a trigger warning for this post due to fictional content about rape. Show More Summary

Forget His Coinages, Shakespeare’s Real Genius Lies in His Noggin-Busting Compounds 

Assassination, bedazzled, lonely, rant, scuffle, zany: These are just a few of the 1,700 words we traditionally credit to Shakespeare. Some, like elbow, seem like they should have always existed in the English language; others, such as swagger, feel strikingly modern. Show More Summary

When F--k Was Fug

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. As much as the youthful Norman Mailer may have enjoyed inflating his self-image by inundating friend and foe with a superheated geyser of “fucks,” his favorite word wasn’t acceptable for the printed page in 1948. Show More Summary

Hamilton Through the Lens of Language  

Sure, the musical Hamilton has racked up a record number of Tony nominations, gets props from the First Family, and helped keep the “ten-dollar founding father” on the ten-dollar bill. But among the endless accolades, there was one moment...Show More Summary

Shakespeare’s Hipstery Millennial Dream Jobs

A self-employed craftsman who worked from home in a rustic, minimalist studio? Shakespeare’s dad, John, lived the hipster’s dream. He was a glover by trade, and perhaps the inspiration for Romeo’s swoon at the first radiant sight ofShow More Summary

Poetry Served, but Music Shined at the Academy of American Poets’ Star-Studded Gala

Early last Wednesday night, a crowd began to gather outside Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. The hundreds gliding into the lobby looked refined in evening wear, neat sports coats and bright silks, ready for a night at the theater.Show More Summary

Why This Copy Editor Will Capitalize Your Name Whether You Like It or Not

Last month the National Weather Service made the long-overdue decision to cease delivering its forecasts entirely in capital letters. (Its all-caps screeds were relics of a time when weather reports were sent by teleprinter.) As theShow More Summary

Why Do We Delete the Initial Pronoun From Our Sentences? Glad You Asked.

Something has been mysteriously absent from many of my recent emails: Me. Hope all is well with you, I write, conveniently erasing myself as the subject of the sentence. Agree with Bob’s critiques. Would love to read a post on this. Can do in an hour. Show More Summary

Copyright © 2015 Regator, LLC