"Nine Nasty Words" by John McWhorter

"Nine Nasty Words" by John McWhorter

Review by Joshua Isard
A preeminent linguist examines realms of language considered shocking and taboo in order to understand what imbues curse words with such power—and why we love them.

The Importance of Work in Translation

Column by Gabino Iglesias May 31, 2019
Unless you know at least two dozen languages, work in translation is crucial to understand the world and to consider yourself well read.

Choosing Your Words: To Swear or Not To Swear

Column by Emma Byrne January 22, 2018
'Swearing is Good For You' author Emma Byrne discusses the science and semantics of swear words in fiction.

The Use of Derogatory Language in Period Pieces

Column by Bart Bishop August 23, 2016
Asking the question, is it okay for authors to use "authentic" language in period pieces?
F-Bomb News Roundup

F-Bomb News Roundup

News by Peter Derk
Oldest written f-bomb found, f-bombs on tickets are free speech, and who is topping Twitter in dropping the ol' F?

Turning a Phrase: How to Write Historical Dialogue

Column by Leah Dearborn September 4, 2015
When done correctly, historical dialogue can be used as a tool to add polish and an air of authenticity. Done incorrectly, it can completely eject a reader from the story.

Spells and the Physical Power of Words

Column by Leah Dearborn
While poems are seen as acceptable expressions of emotion or thought, magical incantations are generally left to fiction. But there is evidence that words can make a very physical impact on the world.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Naming Unnamed Sensations: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

News by Emma McMorran Clark March 27, 2014
Despite our wealth of words, there are still some feelings and experiences we struggle to name. This site does just that.
Could English 'Kill' Other Languages?

Could English 'Kill' Other Languages?

News by Sean May January 8, 2014
Billions of people worldwide are racing to learn English, but does this learning come at the cost of losing other languages, or even other cultures?

Symbolism: Storytelling and the Invisible Hand

Column by Jon Gingerich
Symbolism allows writers to get themselves off the page and lets their words do the talking.

Twitter: Destructor Of Grammar Or Awesome Word Factory?

Column by Kimberly Turner February 28, 2013
Is Twitter's inescapable deluge of 140-character blurbs massacring English as we know it or pushing us to write tighter, more concise copy?

O-day ou-yay eak-spay ingon-Klay?: Exploring constructed languages

Column by Taylor Houston February 18, 2013
What do the Starship Enterprise, Boonville California, and an Icelandic band all have in common? Their own language! Explore a few unique constructed languages with me.