Category Archives: language change

Word Lust

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports on a database of language usage that is now available to researchers. It is derived from the digital library of the world’s books that Google has been assembling in recent years. Thus far, two billion … Continue reading

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S Spotting

Somewhere you’ve probably read or heard the colloquial version of expect, as when cowpokes say ‘I ‘spect it’s goin’ to rain’.  I’ve been hearing and reading (tweets on Twitter) other examples of this phonological reduction: I ate so much chocolate … Continue reading

Posted in language change, language variation, pronunciation | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Social Network: Some Thoughts

I finally saw the new film, The Social Network, last night. It’s not a film predominately about language, but there are a few points to make about language in regard to the movie. First, I was deeply impressed, as were … Continue reading

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Go and Went

If you hear someone say ‘I goed’ and you are a fluent speaker of English, you probably assume it’s a child in the midst of learning their native tongue, albeit with a few over-generalizations of word-formation rules, or an adult … Continue reading

Posted in language change, Semantics | Tagged , , | 5 Comments


The word awesome is extending its usage to function as a noun, not just an adjective, although the nominal usage isn’t showing up in dictionaries. Yet. Here are two recent real-life examples of awesome I have witnessed where awesome is … Continue reading

Posted in language change, Word Usage | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Sportaholics and Sexavores

Just back from travels, so a short post today. There is a nice case of a newly productive suffix in English worth noting: –vore.  In the past there was a limited set that includes the well-known carnivore, herbivore, omnivore.  Recently … Continue reading

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Among and Amongst

English usage seems to be getting hipper and leaner.  We’ve nearly lost our subjunctive mood (how many American English speakers even recognize this construction on the printed page?)  and whom should certainly be on the List of Endangered Words. (Is … Continue reading

Posted in history of language, language change, social context of language | Tagged , , | 2 Comments