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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, […]

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Why is English Germanic and not a Romance Language?

Miguel Dela Pena I was told even before this class, but also in an educational setting, that most of the English lexicon has Latin roots, and a few previous classes have discussed how Latin was a high-status language and was used in grammar schools in England, so I was confused why English is considered a […]

Saturday, March 28th, 2020

What’s in a Name?

Katherine Luneng Names have a huge significance in our society particularly, our first names. Names are connected to a large part of some individual’s identity. Has anyone ever mispronounced your name? How did you react or feel when they did that? Do you like all your nicknames? Does your name resemble another name that is […]

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

The Linguistic Treasure Trove of Twitter

Olivia Lenferna When most people think of Twitter, they simply view it as a place where people go to vent their thoughts, opinions and frustrations to the world in 270 characters or less. It is an avenue for celebrities, world leaders, organizations, and different public figures to interact with the world in a safe, controllable […]

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

An Analysis of the Changing Meanings of “Gothic” and “Goth” Throughout History

[anonymous] The word “Gothic” has both a complex history and a variety of meanings. Originally related to a variety of ancient Germanic tribes, the word slowly became a synonym for “barbaric” as time went on. During the early modern period, the term then became retroactively applied to architecture popularized in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, […]