Within a year, rebel slaves had taken over a third of Hispaniola. Ten years of brutal fighting later, Haiti became the first independent nation in Latin America and the only nation ever successfully founded by a slave rebellion.
The children of both slaves and their masters all started speaking the same exact language at the same exact time. The language existed nowhere else and never had; even their parents could not understand the new creole. Yet it suddenly appeared within one generation.
So there’s a news article about language and the journalist interviewed… linguists! Actual, real life linguists! I know, I’m as shocked as you are. Does this mean the field of linguists has…
An exonym is a name given to people, places, or languages by an outside source. A clear example is the Berber people of Africa, who were named after “barbaria,” which is the Greek word for “land of the barbarians” and referred to all non-Greek nations.
Back in the mid 1990’s when I was studying at SOAS, one of the classes that I most enjoyed were those given by Professor Alexander Piatagorsky. He is said to have been […]
You have likely heard the term “saving face” in regards to maintaining some sort of dignity or reputation following a negative event. The sociologist Erving Goffman borrowed from the previously informal phrase for […]
The second installment of 10 Weird Words, featuring the vulgar history of wuss and the founding of Adidas by Nazis.
Have you ever felt bulldozed by someone who kept interrupting with a story that only vaguely relates to the one you were just trying to tell? Or maybe you feel like you’re always trying to get your co-worker to tell you about their weekend but it feels like pulling teeth, and you think, “Okay, they just don’t want to talk to me.”
Debating popular theories about Victor’s mental health and origin story
Sinister: from the Latin “left” because of the evil connotations of omens “on the left,” emphasized further by Latin Mass. Adds a fun layer to the hyper-Christian, left-handed Ned Flanders and the title character of “Dexter,” the Latin word designating the right-handed, good omens.