Blog Profile / Slate: Lexicon Valley


URL :http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley.html
Filed Under:Academics / Linguistics
Posts on Regator:747
Posts / Week:1.8
Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Verbing Weirds Language, but in a Good Way

We often think of parts of speech as immutable properties of words, but in some cases noun-ness and verb-ness are more like hair colors: you can switch them up without altering any core meanings. Consider the noun “a blanket” and the...Show More Summary

This Year's Word of the Year Isn't Even a Word ??????

The Oxford Dictionaries “Word” of the Year 2015 has landed. It’s ?, a.k.a. Face with Tears of Joy, already weeping with relief at its victory. (I suppose we asked for this.) Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Dictionaries, explains...Show More Summary

Sauce or Gravy? The Secret, Fervent Debate at the Heart of the Italian American Spaghetti Dinner.

“The Italians of my parents’ generation are held together by the notion of the family,” wrote Martin Scorsese in his introduction to Italianamerican: The Scorsese Family Cookbook. “That is why the pasta sauce is so sacred to the Italian family.” See, now right away we have a problem. Show More Summary

Spotting Hidden F-Words in Films

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. We’ve looked at swearing in films before, in the obvious sense where it occurs on the audio track. But sometimes films offer visual swears, a few examples of which are presented below. Show More Summary

Where Did We Get Cooties? 

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. Can we get cooties from a cooter? Etymologically? No. But if you do get cooties from a cooter, there’s a good chance they’ll be crabs. Cooties was the term...Show More Summary

Truthiness: BS Gets a Colbert Bump  

As part of the launch of Bullshit: A Lexicon, Mark Peters is writing a BS word of the day. Finally, we have arrived at the Stephen Colbert of BS words—a term coined in the first episode of The Colbert Report back in 2005. My book Bullshit:...Show More Summary

We Need a Better Word for Spreading Vicious Rumors. Let’s Try Calumny. 

Early in the day on November 2 someone possibly related to the hacktivist group Anonymous released on Pastebin a possibly real, possibly trustworthy possible data dump possibly identifying persons of note possibly connected to the Ku...Show More Summary

Felgercarb: An Underused, Sci-Fi Word for BS

As part of the launch of Bullshit: A Lexicon, Mark Peters is writing a BS word of the day. Now we’re getting deep (so to speak) into the lexicon of BS—and of geeks too. This term first appeared in the pilot of Battlestar Galactica back in 1978. Show More Summary

Flubdub: A Folksy, Rhymy, Awesome Word for BS

As part of the launch of Bullshit: A Lexicon, Mark Peters is writing a BS word of the day. I don’t know if I have a favorite word, but I do have a favorite type of word: reduplicatives. I’ve loved ‘em ever since I read the word higgledy-piggledy...Show More Summary

Batshit: The Looniest Word for BS

As part of the launch of Bullshit: A Lexicon, Mark Peters is writing a BS word of the day. I just wrote a whole book about bullshit—Bullshit: A Lexicon—but that isn’t the first shitty accomplishment of my writing career: I wrote a peer-reviewed...Show More Summary

Rhubarb: A Tart, Theatrical Word for Bullshit 

As part of the launch of Bullshit: A Lexicon, Mark Peters is writing a BS word of the day. While researching words for bullshit—for my book Bullshit: A Lexicon—I noticed quite a few patterns. Many reduplicative words—like mumbo jumbo, fiddle-faddle, and flub dub—have a BS-type meaning. Show More Summary

The Ellipsis Can Be Powerful...or Deeply Annoying. Here’s a Guide to Using It Well.  

“All hail the power of an ellipsis,” proclaimed a recent Guardian column, which went on to fete the punctuation mark’s mystery and economy. Two days later, the paper ran an essay on the first ellipsis to grace English theater: an “incomplete utterance” in the 1585 translation of a play by the Roman dramatist Terence. Show More Summary

What Boobs, Jugs, and Hooters Say About Phonetics

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. Following on my initial observations on the phonology of cusswords, and connecting to Iva’s recent post on cooters and hooters, I’d like to spend some time...Show More Summary

Great Scott! Who Was Scott? The Origin of Doc Brown’s Favorite Phrase, Explained.

Today is Back to the Future Day, the day when we finally reach the precise date of Back to the Future II, survey the fact that we got memes instead of hoverboards, and utter Doc Brown’s favorite exclamation: “Great Scott!” But who was Scott? U.S. Show More Summary

Sure, Back to the Future Was Wrong About Hoverboards, But How Well Did It Predict Slang?

Read more in Slate about Back to the Future Day. The Back to the Future franchise may not have gotten everything right about 2015, especially in the realm of aerial transport. (What, you haven’t ordered your hoverboard on Kickstarter...Show More Summary

Look at All the Zero Effs You Can Give!

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. Some months back on the Strong Language blog, Stephen Chrisomalis counted how many swears we can give. Quite a lot, it turns out. We can give a fuck. We can give two fucks. Show More Summary

Graham Greene’s Vocabulary of Light and Dark Makes This the Scariest Short Story You’ve Never Read

For a story all about being afraid of the dark, the scariest thing in Graham Greene’s “The End of the Party” may just be his lexicon of light. Greene may be best known for novels such as The Power and the Glory or his screenplay for The Third Man. Show More Summary

Can Lorin Stein Translate Michel Houellebecq into a Great Writer?

At the beginning of Michel Houellebecq’s new novel, Submission, Houellebecq, perhaps unwittingly, analyzes himself. “The beauty of an author’s style,” he writes, “the music of his sentences, have their importance in literature... but...Show More Summary

America’s Next Top Model Gave Us Plenty of Models, But Its Lasting Legacy Will Be Its Lexicon

Wednesday saw some sad surprise Tyramail: Cycle 22 of America’s Next Top Model will be the show’s last. The show has given the modeling world several new faces, but it’s given the world at large something even greater—a few very fun coinages. Show More Summary

How to Flip Someone Off Like a Brit

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. Sometimes a gesture can convey a message more satisfactorily than words. Why tell someone to fuck off when you can just give them the finger? We like toShow More Summary

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