Category Archives: Language

Do you write “like a girl?”

Recently, while catching up on some of my magazine reading, I noticed something surprising: without looking at the byline, I was able to guess whether or not the author of any given article was a woman or a man with … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Language, Things you should know, Words, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mentor, mentee — how about mentoree?

One of the positives (or is it a negative?) of working with language so much of the time is the sheer volume of unusual things you encounter. Not simply an odd word or usage here and there, but also the … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

On Behalf of Jamais Vu

Do you ever have an experience where, without warning, something that you’re familiar with feels suddenly like you’re encountering it for the very first time? There’s actually a term for this: it’s jamais vu, the opposite of déjà vu. Instead … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shibboleth — not someone who predicts the future and not a Lovecraft monster

I’ve been swimming into the depths of political speech again lately, and that means I encounter interesting words and concepts that aren’t always common in everyday use. One of the words that crops up now and then is “shibboleth.” I … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When is a word not a word?

The question should be: Is there any validity to a claim that “a word isn’t a word?” Alright, you’re asking yourself: What’s got his goat this time? It’s not so dramatic as that! But, because I spend (waste?) some portion … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment