Language Filter
  1. Shady Characters

    “Here you’ll find un­usual marks of punc­tu­ation, books and book his­tory, and everything in between.” Keith Houston’s Shady Characters is full of smart, thoughtful writing on the secret lives of punctuation marks.

    Books
  2. Unleashed in Paris

    As a semi-professional dog walker in Paris, artist and expat Kate Gavino has found a comfortable way to learn French.

    Animals
  3. The sentences that make the stories

    At Nieman Storyboard, Jacqui Banaszynski highlights great sentences from two books, including Tommy Orange’s There There: From the dancing came the dancing. She writes: “It is lovely all on its own, as an arrangement of a few words between punctuation and white space. It is musical, especially when read aloud.”

    Authors
  4. Potty-Mouthed Professors: Why They’re the Best

    Is it acceptable to curse in college classrooms? For one professor, it’s a cornerstone of his pedagogy.

    Academia
    Photo by Alex Naud via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
  5. Are There Limits to Self-Identity Language?

    “When a marginalized person claims language to describe their oppressed identity, they are speaking themself into existence in a society that is trying to annihilate them.”

    Gender
  6. Sunset From Killean

    It was a race against time (and tough terrain!) for James Collett to capture this lovely sunset in Killean, Scotland.

    Language
    By James Collett
  7. Embracing the Absurd

    At Croissants & Conjugations, Jessica Journey refines her French speaking skills: “Sometimes, even now, a notable language mistake or inability to communicate will make me feel like a child. But maybe that’s not so bad. Babies have a big, beautiful world in front of them, full of unknowns, ripe for the exploring.”

    Culture
  8. Even Racists Got the Blues

    A viral post from Audrey Nickel at The Geeky Gaeilgeoir: “Most of the time, I feel a little bit sorry for people who make horrendous translation mistakes. This is not one of those times.”

    Language
  9. Quam Proxime

    Kathryn Hume works in the artificial intelligence sector, but has a background in philosophy and literature. On her blog, she publishes essays that bring together her interests in tech, language, culture, and more.

    Art
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. “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
  15. 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