Archive for April, 2020

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

Noah Webster: The Kanye West of Lexicographers

Angelica B Noah Webster is undeniably problematic. It’s why once the rights to his famous dictionary were posthumously sold to Merriam, they immediately hired a new linguist to redo the entire etymology, and why he was known as  “a spiteful viper”, “an incurable lunatic” and “unlikeable” by those that knew him (Kendall 7; Kreidler 109). […]

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

From Fawney to Phoney

Cathlin Berndt Phoney, which today means “Fake, sham, counterfeit; false; insincere” (OED s.v. phoney, sense 1), seems like a pretty straightforward word. However, that is not the case. This word, according to Cohen, has been a debated topic for over 100 years (Cohen 1). Phoney (or phony) is an interesting word. It looks like the […]

Monday, April 13th, 2020

The Day the Vikings Came: Old Norse and its Impact on the English Language

Ashley Sharp The Viking presence within England had a great impact on the English language from the year 800 to the year 1100. This impact can be seen on the lexicon and the loss of inflection. English has had a great number of lexical borrowings from other languages such as French and Latin but often […]

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

Missed and Mist: Linguistic Assimilation and Inflectional Endings

Cara Schwartz An argument came up this past weekend when my husband asked me if I “missed the plants” over our holidays. Confused, I kept thinking, “of course I couldn’t mist my plants, we weren’t home.” I asked him to repeat himself, and after hearing the same question about mist, a ten-minute conversation followed on […]

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

“one peso for every Ilonggo word you say”: The Prestige of English in the Philippines

Gabrielle Torres The nuns would say to us neat little school girls in our neat little school uniforms that only English and Tagalog should be spoken within school property. I was born in Iloilo City, Philippines, where people speak Ilonggo, a language spoken by approximately 9 million people. You’re probably wondering, ‘Why not speak Ilonggo […]

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

“Fire and Fury”: Donald Trump’s “Modern Day” Language

Brandon Fick   After midnight (ET) on May 31, 2017, Donald Trump tweeted: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe” (@realDonaldTrump).  The tweet remained on his feed for hours, and even after it was deleted, Trump would not admit it was a misspelling of coverage.  In the immediate aftermath, covfefe went viral as a hashtag, meme, […]