Political profanity and crude creativity on the campaign trail

In the United States, thoughts are turning to the start of the primary season, when votes are cast to choose each party’s presidential nominee. It’s a complicated and sometimes very long process,
In the United States, thoughts are turning to the start of the primary season, when votes are cast to choose each party’s presidential nominee. It’s a complicated and sometimes very long process, [More]

Regretoric: the rise of the “nonapology” apology and the “apology tour”

OxfordDictionaries.com is adding the nouns apology tour and nonapology. These additions represent two related steps in the evolution of the noun apology, which first entered English in the sixteenth
OxfordDictionaries.com is adding the nouns apology tour and nonapology. These additions represent two related steps in the evolution of the noun apology, which first entered English in the sixteenth [More]

A tale of two militias: finding the right label for the Oregon protests

When an armed group occupied a federal building in Oregon to protest against the US government’s land management, the media quickly seized on the word ‘militia’ to describe them. The Guardian
When an armed group occupied a federal building in Oregon to protest against the US government’s land management, the media quickly seized on the word ‘militia’ to describe them. The Guardian [More]

From teaspoons to tea-sots: the language of tea

Tea was first imported into Britain early in the seventeenth century, becoming very popular by the 1650s. The London diarist Samuel Pepys drank his first cup in 1660, as recorded in his famous
Tea was first imported into Britain early in the seventeenth century, becoming very popular by the 1650s. The London diarist Samuel Pepys drank his first cup in 1660, as recorded in his famous [More]

Manspreading: how New York City’s MTA popularized a word without saying it

New York City, home of Oxford Dictionaries’ New York offices, has made numerous contributions to the English lexicon through the years, as disparate as knickerbocker and hip hop. The post
New York City, home of Oxford Dictionaries’ New York offices, has made numerous contributions to the English lexicon through the years, as disparate as knickerbocker and hip hop. The post [More]

Season’s greetings – Episode 29 – The Oxford Comment

Say goodbye to endless stuffing: it's time to welcome our most beloved season of wreaths, wrapping paper...and confusion. The questions, as we began delving, were endless. Should we say happy
Say goodbye to endless stuffing: it's time to welcome our most beloved season of wreaths, wrapping paper...and confusion. The questions, as we began delving, were endless. Should we say happy [More]

Analysing what Shakespeare has to say about gender

Humans are very good at reading from start to finish and collecting lots of information to understand the aggregated story a text tells, but they are very bad at keeping track of the details of
Humans are very good at reading from start to finish and collecting lots of information to understand the aggregated story a text tells, but they are very bad at keeping track of the details of [More]

The AUTO- age

How readily someone may be understood when using a new word will depend on several factors: the intuitable transparency of meaning, its clarity in context, the receptiveness of the audience, and so
How readily someone may be understood when using a new word will depend on several factors: the intuitable transparency of meaning, its clarity in context, the receptiveness of the audience, and so [More]

George Orwell and the origin of the term ‘cold war’

On 19 October 1945, George Orwell used the term cold war in his essay "You and the Atom Bomb," speculating on the repercussions of the atomic age which had begun two months before when the United
On 19 October 1945, George Orwell used the term cold war in his essay "You and the Atom Bomb," speculating on the repercussions of the atomic age which had begun two months before when the United [More]

Do East and West Germans still speak a different language?

On 12 September 1990, about ten months after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the foreign ministers of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) met with their
On 12 September 1990, about ten months after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the foreign ministers of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) met with their [More]