Why Do You Text Like Thissss? Girl, You're Drunnnk

Maggie Lange · 02/21/13 05:12PM

It's been happening for a whilllee, texters lengthening their verbage, and linguists are here to analyze. Using nearly 4 million words from students' digital-communications data, a linguist at the University of Toronto has discovered this word elongating practice is a trend most common among female twenty-somethings (though it extends to different ages and across both genders as well). Vowels are the most frequently duplicated letters, and often words are only elongated by two or three letters at a time.

They Found the Sea Monster's Lair!

Hamilton Nolan · 10/10/11 04:25PM

Science stars! Kraken lair! Saturn rings! Persistent chemist! Envious mind! Foreign insects! Baltimore telescope! Ancient language! And a serious geological epochal debate! It's your Monday Science Watch, where we watch science—perilously!

Rare New Yorker Copy Editing Error Spotted!?

Adrian Chen · 08/14/10 11:21AM

To punctuation expert Lynne Truss, The New Yorker is "that famous punctilious periodical." The last grammar mistake to appear in the New Yorker might have been made by a hungover E.B. White. But has this impeccable record finally been broken?

Surprise: Some People Do Not Understand Grammar

Max Read · 07/06/10 10:50PM

Researchers found that some native English speakers were unable to understand the sentence "The soldier was hit by the sailor," indicating that grammar may not be "universal." FYI: It means the sailor (boats) hit the soldier (tanks). [Science Daily]

Arizona Department of Education Hates Accents

Jeff Neumann · 04/30/10 05:26AM

Oh, Arizona. First this, then this, and now this: The state is cracking down on school teachers with accents in an effort to secure Anglo dominance in the southwest, because Arizona is a state where we speak English, okay?

What Should We Call Movies That Aren't in 3D?

Brian Moylan · 04/02/10 04:38PM

Clash of the Titans is finally open! But friends and reviewers told me that the 3D version is a rip off. But what about the "regular" version? Well, I might check it out if it had a better name.

Great Debates: How Should We Pronounce 2010?

Foster Kamer · 01/02/10 05:45PM

There are some issues people won't shut up about that aren't important. There are some issues people won't shut up about that are important. And then there's this heated issue, which falls squarely in the middle.

Twitter's New Prompt: A Linguist Weighs In

Ryan Tate · 11/19/09 06:55PM

Twitter today announced it will prompt users to post by asking "What's happening?" rather than the old "What are you doing?" We asked a prominent linguist if this means anything. Turns out it does: Twitterers are no longer such loners.

Teh New Talk-Ways Make Olders Mega-Sad, Super-Catty

Choire · 08/23/07 09:14AM

Lexicographer and editor Grant Barrett rips the Wall Street Journal a new one over their horriful trend/scare story today on the devolution of Americanlish and the rise of chat-speak and how the kids are destroying all things and whatevs. The story includes this choice bit: "'There used to be a time when people cared about how they spoke and wrote,' laments Robert Hartwell Fiske, who has written or edited several books on proper English usage, including one on overused words titled 'The Dimwit's Dictionary.'" Oh was there, ya slaggy old bit popper?