TMN Contributing Writer Michael Erard lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and son. His book about the science of polyglots, Babel No More, is now out in stores.
Talking about language is already tough. Try discussing a brand new language via Skype with two hearing linguists, plus another via text, who happens to be deaf, and see what you learn.
At one school, the popular girls were called the “chicken patties,” but the jocks were just the “jocks.” How teenage crowds get named.
When a cocktail is born, it receives a name. How it’s christened has as much to do with the drink’s lineage as the bartender’s mood—and sometimes, how it makes you feel after you’ve finished it.
As anyone who’s struggled to start a band, get shows, record music, and become a certified rock star knows, coming up with a name is half the challenge. A linguistic take on how we name bands today.
When your life is opened in front of you, all your old attachments shucked off, the task of finding a new ending can be as simple as handing over a bag of guns.
Small donations comprise more than half of President Obama’s war chest. Small donors, on the other hand, constitute some of the world’s most overwhelmed email recipients. But all that follow-up isn’t just about cash—it’s about subtle changes being made inside your head.
On a quest to find the person who speaks the most languages on Earth, our correspondent encountered Emil Krebs, a German diplomat who knew, by some accounts, 65 of them—and happily swore in dozens.
The emergence of the Social Media Exile essay has been swift and smug. A language expert dissects a genre while also being seduced by its allure.
Everyone remembers their first, especially English professors. A professor confronts a student he busted for cheating—and who caused him to completely rethink plagiarism.
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Many hear verbal stumbles as a lack of eloquence—or worse, intelligence. However, there’s a new love and respect for our little hesitations.
Don’t know art but know what you like? How would you like to buy some art and never receive it? Falling for a painting and getting something unexpected in return.