What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: linguistics, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 71
1. The curious case of culprit

Amnesia, disguises, and mistaken identities? No, these are not the plot twists of a blockbuster thriller or bestselling page-turner. They are the story of the word culprit. At first glance, the origin of culprit looks simple enough. Mea culpa, culpable,exculpate, and the more obscure inculpate: these words come from the Latin culpa, “fault” or “blame.”

The post The curious case of culprit appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on The curious case of culprit as of 8/22/2015 10:52:00 AM
Add a Comment
2. Coleridge’s way with words

Why should we commemorate Samuel Taylor Coleridge? The obvious reason is his high status as a poet, but a better one might be his exuberance as a wordsmith. As a poet, after all, he is widely known for only two relatively short works: ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and 'Kubla Khan.’ While the academy would no doubt add four or five others prized by specialists, the total number is still small.

The post Coleridge’s way with words appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Coleridge’s way with words as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
3. Talkin’ about a ‘Revolution’

Amid Fourth of July parades and fireworks, I found myself asking this: why do we call this day 'Independence Day' rather than 'Revolution Day?' The short answer,of course, is that on 4 July, we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a day that has been commemorated since 1777.

The post Talkin’ about a ‘Revolution’ appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Talkin’ about a ‘Revolution’ as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
4. TED-Ed Lesson Explores the Origins of the English Language

Add a Comment
5. Pluto and its underworld minions

Early this week the spacecraft New Horizons began its flyby of Pluto, sending a wealth of information to back to Earth about Pluto and its moons. It’s an exciting time for astronomers and those intrigued by the dark dwarf planet. Pluto has special significance not only because it is the only planet in our solar system to have its status as a planet stripped and downgraded to a dwarf planet, but also because along with its largest satellite Charon, it is our solar system’s only binary planet system

The post Pluto and its underworld minions appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Pluto and its underworld minions as of 7/25/2015 10:18:00 AM
Add a Comment
6. Palimpsest: A History of the Written Word

If you love the written word, then you'll love its rich history. Palimpsest traces the advancement of writing from Mesopotamia all the way up to the digital age, offering much more than a dry account: we learn as much about the cultural implications as we do about the changes in format and medium. Battles is [...]

0 Comments on Palimpsest: A History of the Written Word as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
7. 16 words from the 1960s

As the television show Mad Men recently reached its conclusion, we thought it might be fun to reflect on the contributions to language during the turbulent decade of the 1960s. This legacy is not surprising, given the huge shifts in culture that took place during this point in time, including the Civil Rights movement, the apex of the space race, the environmental movement, the sexual revolution, and—obviously—the rise of advertising and media. With this in mind, we picked 16 words from the 1960s that illuminate this historical moment.

The post 16 words from the 1960s appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on 16 words from the 1960s as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
8. The ‘mullet’ mystery – Episode 23 – The Oxford Comment

Often described as ‘business in front, party in the back,’ most everyone is familiar with this infamous hairstyle, which is thought to have been popularized in the 1980s. How, then, could the term have originated as early as 1393, centuries before David Bowie ever rocked it? We embarked on an etymological journey, figuratively traveling back in time to answer what seemed like a simple question: What, exactly, is a mullet? And does it really mean what we think it means?

In this month’s episode, Sara Levine, a Multimedia Producer in our New York Office, chats with Katherine Martin, head of Oxford Dictionaries, and other key players in this language mystery. Together, they discovered surprising revelations about the term, finally arriving at the truth about the origins of the word ‘mullet.’

Image Credit: ‘Mullet Diagram’ by Sara Levine for Oxford University Press.

The post The ‘mullet’ mystery – Episode 23 – The Oxford Comment appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on The ‘mullet’ mystery – Episode 23 – The Oxford Comment as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
9. Changing languages

In the literature on language death and language renewal, two cases come up again and again: Irish and Hebrew. Mention of the former language is usually attended by a whiff of disapproval. It was abandoned relatively recently by a majority of the Irish people in favour of English, and hence is quoted as an example of a people rejecting their heritage. Hebrew, on the other hand, is presented as a model of linguistic good behaviour: not only was it not rejected by its own people, it was even revived after being dead for more than two thousand years, and is now thriving.

The post Changing languages appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Changing languages as of 6/8/2015 6:36:00 AM
Add a Comment
10. Approaching the big bad word “bad”

In the near future I’ll have more than enough to say about bad, an adjective whose history is dismally obscure, but once again, and for the umpteenth time, we have to ask ourselves why there are words of undiscovered and seemingly undiscoverable origin. Historical linguists try to reconstruct ancient roots.

The post Approaching the big bad word “bad” appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Approaching the big bad word “bad” as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
11. Going sour: sweet words in slang

Jonathan Green, an expert lexicographer and contributor to The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, gives us the rundown of the sweet terms and phrases that have been re-imagined and incorporated into slang.

The post Going sour: sweet words in slang appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Going sour: sweet words in slang as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
12. Lies, truth, and meaning

Words have meaning. We use them to communicate to one another, and what we communicate depends, in part, on which words we use. What words mean varies from language to language. In many cases, we can communicate the same thing in different languages, but require different words to do so. And conversely, sometimes the very same words communicate different things in different languages.

The post Lies, truth, and meaning appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Lies, truth, and meaning as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
13. Words and Rules

Pinker's book is an absolute treat for lovers of language and anyone fascinated by the human mind. You'll come away with a much greater understanding of how words form in our mouths and how language gets passed on, and altered, from generation to generation. Books mentioned in this post

0 Comments on Words and Rules as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
14. Swear words, etymology, and the history of English

Have you ever noticed that many of our swear words sound very much like German ones and not at all like French ones? From vulgar words for body parts (a German Arsch is easy to identify, but not so much the French cul), to scatological and sexual verbs (doubtless you can spot what scheissen and ficken mean, English and German clearly draw their swear words from a shared stock in a way that English and French do not.

The post Swear words, etymology, and the history of English appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Swear words, etymology, and the history of English as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
15. Celebrating linguistic diversity on International Mother Language Day

It’s Thursday evening in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. I am late for an appointment to see my friend Shimanto (lit. boundary [Sanskrit]). On the street I shout ‘ei mama jaben?' (Hey uncle, will you go? [Bangla]) to catch an auto-rickshaw (auto [English] man-powered-wheeler [Japanese]). After striking the deal, I sit inside the three-wheeler. As the young driver speeds up almost hitting passers-by and curses ‘jyam khub kharap!' (Traffic jam [English] is very bad! [Persian]), I recollect the writing at the back of the car: ‘allāḥ sarvaśaktimān' (God [Arabic] almighty [Sanskrit]).

The post Celebrating linguistic diversity on International Mother Language Day appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Celebrating linguistic diversity on International Mother Language Day as of 2/21/2015 9:41:00 AM
Add a Comment
16. Monthly etymology gleanings for February 2015

One month is unlike another. Sometimes I receive many letters and many comments; then lean months may follow. February produced a good harvest (“February fill the dyke,” as they used to say), and I can glean a bagful. Perhaps I should choose a special title for my gleanings: “I Am All Ears” or something like it.

The post Monthly etymology gleanings for February 2015 appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Monthly etymology gleanings for February 2015 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
17. Clarity about ‘the gay thing’

Sometimes, we say what we don’t really mean. ‘You look really tired’, for example, when we mean to be caring rather than disparaging of appearance. ‘I thought you were older than that!’ when we mean to applaud maturity rather than further disparage appearance. And so it is with the gay thing. The accidental difference between what people are saying or writing, and their intended meaning, is becoming perplexingly polarized.

The post Clarity about ‘the gay thing’ appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Clarity about ‘the gay thing’ as of 2/28/2015 9:32:00 AM
Add a Comment
18. Putting two and two together

As somebody who loves words and English literature, I have often been assumed to be a natural enemy of the mathematical mind. If we’re being honest, my days of calculus and the hypotenuse are behind me, but with those qualifications under my belt, I did learn that the worlds of words and numbers are not necessarily as separate as they seem. Quite a few expressions use numbers (sixes and sevens, six of one and half a dozen of the other, one of a kind, etc.) but a few are more closely related to mathematics than you’d expect.

The post Putting two and two together appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Putting two and two together as of 3/14/2015 9:18:00 AM
Add a Comment
19. Voracious

In the summer of 2012, I got a contract for a book about language, based on my experiences of more than 30 years as a copy editor at The New Yorker. I was thrilled, because now I had license to buy all the books about language that I wanted. That September, I was driving on [...]

0 Comments on Voracious as of 4/6/2015 8:07:00 PM
Add a Comment
20. Shakespeare’s false friends

False friends (‘faux amis’) are words in one language which look the same as words in another. We therefore think that their meanings are the same and get a shock when we find they are not. Generations of French students have believed that demander means ‘demand’ (whereas it means ‘ask’) or librairie means ‘library’ (instead of ‘bookshop’). It is a sign of a mature understanding of a language when you can cope with the false friends, which can be some of its most frequently used words. Having a good grasp of the false friends is a crucial part of ‘learning to speak French.’

The post Shakespeare’s false friends appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Shakespeare’s false friends as of 4/11/2015 10:03:00 AM
Add a Comment
21. ‘Buyer beware': how the Federal Trade Commission redefined the word ‘free’

Last month marked the hundredth anniversary of the Federal Trade Commission, the regulatory agency that looks after consumer interests by enforcing truth in advertising laws. Established by the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, the FTC opened its doors in March 16 of 2015, taking the place of the older Bureau of Corporations.

The post ‘Buyer beware': how the Federal Trade Commission redefined the word ‘free’ appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on ‘Buyer beware': how the Federal Trade Commission redefined the word ‘free’ as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
22. Guns, herbs, and sores: inside the dragon’s etymological lair

23 April marks St. George’s Day. While St. George is widely venerated throughout Christian communities, England especially honors him, its patron saint, on this day. Indeed, his cross, red on a white field, flies as England’s flag. St. George, of course, is legendary for the dragon he slew, yet St. George bested the beast in legend alone. From Beowulf to The Game of Thrones, this creature continues to breathe life (and fire) into our stories, art, and language; even the very word dragon hoards its own gold. Let’s brave our way into its etymological lair to see what treasures we might find.

The post Guns, herbs, and sores: inside the dragon’s etymological lair appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Guns, herbs, and sores: inside the dragon’s etymological lair as of 4/26/2015 3:05:00 PM
Add a Comment
23. May the Fourth be with you!

May the Fourth be with you! Playing off a pun on one of the movie’s most famous quotes, May the 4th is the unofficial holiday in which Star Wars fans across the globe celebrate the beloved blockbuster series. The original Star Wars movie, now known as Star Wars IV: A New Hope, was released on 25 May 1977, but to those of us who waited in line after line to see it again and again in theaters, it will always be just Star Wars.

The post May the Fourth be with you! appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on May the Fourth be with you! as of 5/4/2015 3:17:00 PM
Add a Comment
24. The evolution of the word ‘evolution’

It is curious that, although the modern theory of evolution has its source in Charles Darwin’s great book On the Origin of Species (1859), the word evolution does not appear in the original text at all. In fact, Darwin seems deliberately to have avoided using the word evolution, preferring to refer to the process of biological change as ‘transmutation’. Some of the reasons for this, and for continuing confusion about the word evolution in the succeeding century and a half, can be unpacked from the word’s entry in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

The post The evolution of the word ‘evolution’ appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on The evolution of the word ‘evolution’ as of 5/9/2015 9:47:00 AM
Add a Comment
25. How to write a great graduation speech

It’s graduation time at many of the nation’s schools and colleges. The commencement ceremony is a great exhalation for all involved and an annual rite of passage celebrating academic achievements. Commencement ceremonies typically feature a visiting dignitary who offers a few thousand inspirational words. Over the years, I’ve heard more of these speeches than I care to admit and have made my own checklist of suggestions for speakers. For those of you giving commencement speeches or listening to them, here’s my advice.

The post How to write a great graduation speech appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on How to write a great graduation speech as of 5/10/2015 10:51:00 AM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts