Blog Profile / Slate: Lexicon Valley

Filed Under:Academics / Linguistics
Posts on Regator:805
Posts / Week:1.9
Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

We’re Quoting the Wrong Shakespearean Prince to Honor Prince    

Prince’s sudden and shocking death last week prompted an outpouring of responses on social media, with one particularly widespread commemoration taking the form of the quote: “Good night, sweet prince.” While the words make for a pithy...Show More Summary

Fat-Shaming in Shakespearean Dialogue

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. Men: How far we haven’t come. During the Utah caucuses last month, a super PAC supporting presidential candidate Ted Cruz attacked his Republican counterpart, Donald Trump, with an advertisement featuring a nude photograph of Trump’s wife, Melania. Show More Summary

The Surreal, Dionysian Poetry of Prince's Lyrics

“All art aspires to the condition of music,” wrote Walter Pater, and Prince’s lyrics are as hot and dreamlike and weird as his sound. Saturated in color, wild with bizarre imagery, they overload the senses and short-circuit the brain. Show More Summary

From Theater to Therapy to Twitter, the Eerie History of Gaslighting    

In the 1938 play Gas Light, a felonious man seeks to convince his wife that her mind is unraveling. When she notices that he’s dimmed the gaslights in the house, he tells her she is imagining things—they are as bright as they were before. Show More Summary

The Alliterative Appeal of the ‘Flying F—k’

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. What exactly is a flying fuck? And why does this fuck fly? Flying fuck enjoys many fun literal interpretations. Gadget-heads might like the remote-controlled...Show More Summary

Stop ??  Emphasizing ??  Your ??  Point ?? By Putting ??  Clap ??  Emojis ?? After ??  Every ??  Word

Sometimes I click over to Twitter and feel great because everyone seems to be clapping for me. I haven’t even done anything! But there’s all this applause. So many of my friends in virtual reality can hardly squeeze a single word out...Show More Summary

The Erotic Rabbits of Easter

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. Easter: It’s a fuckable feast. For its Christian observers, of course, Easter marks the salvific resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. A cornerstone of the faith, the holiday teems with symbols of new life and fertility. Show More Summary

The Real Reason People Say "I Could Care Less"

Correspondence between state lawmakers and their constituents rarely makes national news, but when Mississippi state Rep. Karl Oliver sent an email reply to a Gulfport woman in March telling her that he “could care less” about her concerns, it did. Media scrutiny of Oliver’s remarks was justified. Show More Summary

The AP Stylebook Will No Longer Capitalize Internet. What a Shame.

Everywhere we go online, we are tempted. We are tempted to click, tempted to watch, and tempted to argue. Maybe most of all, we’re tempted to support websites and decisions that reflect the internet’s democratic ideal, and we’re tempted to reject ones that are inherently antidemocratic. Show More Summary

Primeval Profanity

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. On Facebook, Jay Dillon posted an intriguing verse that appeared in Prize Translations, Poems, and Parodies, Reprinted From The Journal of Education (1881). Show More Summary

How “Kumbaya” Went From Sincere Protest Song to Drippy Punch Line 

Rush Limbaugh won’t buy that preposterous tripe Hillary Clinton is selling about an America united by shared and everlasting values. On his show recently, Limbaugh expectorated: “This whole notion of working together, bringing the country together? We’re way past that. Show More Summary

From Cool McCool to Boaty McBoatface: An Investigationy McInvestigation

The U.K.’s Natural Environment Research Council developed an adorable notion this week, prompting the kind of tempest British Internet users love to discover in their online teapots. The organization needed an “inspirational” name for its new $288 million polar research ship, so it thought it should maybe ask the Internet for suggestions. Show More Summary

The Problem With “That’s Problematic”

The author of this piece won the second Slate Plus Pitch Slam. If you’d like to participate in future pitch slams, consider becoming a member. Visit to learn more. As a women’s studies graduate student and college instructor,...Show More Summary

Is This the First Great Work of “Facebook Fiction”?

On Tuesday, March 15, a mysterious letter appeared in the secure dropbox of the writer Robin Sloan—along with instructions to post the letter’s contents to Facebook, which Sloan did. The message unspooled the saga of an anonymous Facebook employee who’d accidentally discovered a curious property of an internal company application called Enchilada. Show More Summary

Spectacularly Sweary Links

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. Unpresidential profanity, parental profanity, constabulary profanity, embroidered profanity, and more. Constant cursing (“bomb the shit out of,” “kick their...Show More Summary

Do Our Names Shape Our Destinies? Trump’s Might.

Donald Trump continues to ace the presidential primaries. He is proving quite adept at wooing states and groups of voters that were supposed to be easy victories for his Republican opponents. Whether winning over white evangelical voters...Show More Summary

Carnal Conversations in Antony and Cleopatra

This post originally appeared in Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. You want to hear a dirty joke? You don’t have to go to a schoolyard, locker room, comedy club, or even a Republican presidential debate. No, simply go to...Show More Summary

My Question Is the Following Statement

The President’s science advisor, the US undersecretary of energy, and the heads of both NASA and the National Science Foundation sit at the front of a room, offering visions for the future of science from each of their unique perspectives. Show More Summary

Jane Hirshfield Wrote the Perfect Poem for Leap Day

Jane Hirshfield, a poet and translator known for her clean lines and elegant, conversational style, published her newest collection, The Beauty, just last year. Longlisted for the National Book Award, The Beauty joins Come, Thief (2011),...Show More Summary

When Nepali Gets Naughty 

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. It’s always entertaining to look up rude words in a dictionary. This activity can tell you something about the editor, and perhaps the intended audience....Show More Summary

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