Language Filter
  1. On Descriptive Grammar and Banal Bigotry

    In a provocative post, Dustin Atlas says everyone should join the grammar police: “Giving up on proper grammar is fine. Giving up on better grammar — which requires correcting each other — is not.”

    Commentary
  2. Poets and Borders

    What does it mean to live on or cross the border? What does it mean to be a citizen? Are there borders beyond those that are geographic? At Poetry International, a magazine at San Diego State University, poets from around the world share their thoughts on borders.

    Identity
  3. Falling Half in Love with Strangers

    “The whole evening I had been suspended in a bubble with Max, and now I felt like I was holding a pin, ready to burst it and step out into the real world again.” Quinn describes a beautiful, meaningful encounter with a stranger in Vienna some years ago.

    Language
  4. The Elements of Bureaucratic Style

    Colin Dickey examines the syntax and bureaucratic voice in an email from United CEO Oscar Munoz: “Munoz employs the passive voice at key moments to make it clear that there are no other actors in this drama other than Dao.”

    Business
  5. “Good writing must be a constant oscillation between unselfconscious momentum and self-examination. You must look beyond your immediate impulse in order to avoid what’s easy, hackneyed, unexaminedly ideological, and what’s merely smooth and pleasant to the inner ear.”

    Inspiration
  6. Falling in Love with Words: The Secret Life of a Lexicographer

    In the first chapter of her new book, Merriam-Webster lexicographer and Harmless Drudgery blogger Kory Stamper describes how she fell in love with words and offers a peek into the world of writing dictionaries.

    Authors
  7. CMOS Shop Talk

    At the Shop Talk blog, the editors and staff of the Chicago Manual of Style bring clarity, education, and amusement to anyone who works with words.

    Education
  8. George Lakoff

    The blog of George Lakoff, professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley and author of the influential book on how language influences public policy, Don’t Think of an Elephant.

    Culture
    By Benh Lieu Song (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  9. Proof Perfectly

    Language lovers, rejoice — Proof Perfectly, the personal site of proofreader Sara, features posts on writing, grammar, and the art of editing.

    Language
  10. Brian est dans le cuisine.

    “Brian is in the kitchen.” But who is Brian, and why is he always in the kitchen? A funny take on a classic language-learning phrase.

    Humor
  11. Two Erasure Poems by Amanda Oaks

    “with eyes / so soft & / wandering / my claws / spill / wicked words.” (From an erasure poem by Amanda Oaks.)

    Art
  12. An Etymology Goes “Rogue”

    Follow along as John Kelly examines the etymology of the word “rogue,” in honor of the release of the new Star Wars film, Rogue One.

    Film
    freeimages.com
  13. Adventures in Immersion

    On learning to speak French: “When you hear that sweet wobbly French from a tentative little face, the joy is nothing you have to manufacture. They understand! And they are understood. And that’s a beautiful, beautiful thing to share with someone.”

    Language
  14. Once upon a time, public profanity was a rarity, but that’s long behind us.

    Current Events
  15. Brood: A Video Word Review

    “Brood” gets a ten out of ten from James Harbeck in this video word review. “Brooding is the yeast in the bread of discontent.”

    Language
    Video by James Harbeck