Categories
Op Ed

Updating the Dictionary Is Not the End of the World

It’s that time of year. New words have been added to OxfordDictionaries.com, and the internet has lost its collective shit, again. Is this the downfall of society as we know it? Of course not. Updating the dictionary is a good thing, and here’s why we should be happy about the changes.

Categories
Just for Fun

Better Grammar Through Unicorns, Part 6: Latin

Latin may be a dead language, but there are still a few abbreviations you should know how to use properly. While they may seem like they can be used interchangeably, that’s not quite the case. Let’s see if we can figure them out once and for all.

Categories
Just for Fun

Better Language Through Unicorns, Part 5: Odds and Ends

This week we’re catching up some loose ends, including homophones I forgot about a couple weeks ago, phrases that sound OK when you say them out loud but look (and are) horrendously wrong written down the way they sound, and other random but common grammar mistakes.

Categories
Just for Fun

Better Language Through Unicorns, Part 4: IDGAF

There are some grammar mistakes that annoy the crap out of me, but others? I don’t give a fuck. In most of the following cases, so many people use the “wrong” word that it seems really nitpicky to get on anyone’s case about it. Others may be important to get right in academic writing, but not […]

Categories
Perspectives

Ten Years On: Sabine

It’s been ten years since I started my big foreign adventure. In this loose series, I talk to the immigrants I met in 2005 and those I’m only meeting now. They all tell me a bit about the changes that the last decade has brought for them.

Categories
Just for Fun

Better Language Through Unicorns, Part 3: It’s Idiom Time

Oh, idioms. I can’t imagine how people ever manage to pick these up if they aren’t native speakers, considering how often those of us who have spoken English all our lives get these mixed up. Hopefully putting them in terms of unicorns will help us all finally get these phrases right.

Categories
Perspectives

Ten Years On: Ben

It’s been ten years since I started my big foreign adventure. In this loose series, I talk to the immigrants I met in 2005 and those I’m only meeting now. They all tell me a bit about the changes that the last decade has brought for them.

Categories
Just for Fun

Better Language Through Unicorns, Part 2: Tricksy Homophones and Sneaky Spelling

One of the most annoying things about the English language is its abundance of words that sound exactly alike but have different spellings and meanings. Other words have similar meanings an even sound slightly different, but are spelled differently for different parts of speech. Some of them are easy enough that most of us will never […]

Categories
Just for Fun

Better Language Through Unicorns, Part 1: The Basics

Grammar may not be particularly fun for everyone, but everything’s better with unicorns! Let’s let our magical friends walk us through some of the trickier words that many of us still mess up no matter how many times we go over the rules. 

Categories
Dispatches from Ladyblogland

Dispatches from Ladyblogland

Welcome to the ladyblogosphere, where everyone is trying to be the next big thing.

Categories
Humor

The Male And His Words

Bromance. Man-purse. Moobs. Mandals. The Male Kitchen. Or to take a crude turn: mangina or boy-pussy. Why do men, who already put their stamp on 98% of society, need their own version of certain words?

Categories
Perspectives

Expat Ramblings: Make the Most of Your Language!

Over in Facebookland, a friend of mine recently posted a link to an expat’s blog post. In it, the writer expressed her fear of losing her native language while living abroad and not using it the way she used to. My friend and many other expats shared her concerns. And while I can relate to […]

Categories
History

Wassail Was-what?

The holidays are a time for family, friends, fun, and. . . hazy traditions. Wassail is a drink or a time to party or something right? Dating back to Ye Olden Days? Or is it something more?

Categories
Uncategorized

Apostrophes are Awesome

While I teach writing for a living, I’m not the doom-and-gloom “Texting is ruining English!” type. Language changes. It’s pretty neat to be witnessing such profound changes. But I do love apostrophes, and I am sad that they seem to be on the way out.

Categories
We try it!

We Try It: Duolingo

Being Hispanic (we can debate the term later), does not automatically guarantee certain characteristics that are associated with the group. You can be culturally Hispanic, but you can be pretty pale. You can be raised in a city that is at least sixty percent Hispanic with parents who speak Spanish fluently, but still not be […]