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Language Insights

Owning Language: The Weird World Of Trademarking Words

Owning Language: The Weird World Of Trademarking Words

We’re surrounded by words and phrases that have been copyrighted, from company names to catchphrases. But what does it mean to actually own a piece of language?
What Is The Ugliest Word In The World?

What Is The Ugliest Word In The World?

Is it “moist”? Is it “pulchritude”? We’ll try to identify the ugliest word in the world, and probably fail. But it’ll be fun regardless.
Jargon Watch: Journalism And The Language Of News

Jargon Watch: Journalism And The Language Of News

Working for a newspaper requires a lot of very specific skills, one of which is knowing all the journalism jargon that’s out there. Here’s a quick guide to some of the most-used terms!
5 Popular Myths About Language Learning, Debunked

5 Popular Myths About Language Learning, Debunked

Let’s clear the air on these oft-repeated myths, once and for all.
Here’s Why Learning A Language Shouldn’t Be About Fluency

Here’s Why Learning A Language Shouldn’t Be About Fluency

Becoming fluent is a noble goal, but sometimes it can discourage you from reaching your potential.
Babbel On: June 2018 Language News Roundup

Babbel On: June 2018 Language News Roundup

The future of English, later-in-life language fluency and more in this edition of Babbel On.
The United States Of Accents: Hawaii English And Pidgin

The United States Of Accents: Hawaii English And Pidgin

In this installment, we talk about how English came to the 50th state and how Pidgin became central to the identity of Hawaii.
Why Does ‘Mother’ Sound The Same In So Many Languages?

Why Does ‘Mother’ Sound The Same In So Many Languages?

The concept of “Mom” is universal — and, for the most part, so is the name we’ve given her. The reason is probably a lot simpler than you think.
How Christian Missionaries Created The Largest Language Database In The World

How Christian Missionaries Created The Largest Language Database In The World

Christians went from being very translation-averse to the most prolific translators around.
What Is The Oldest Word In The World?

What Is The Oldest Word In The World?

Which words were the first to be written and spoken? We dive into the history of ancient language and what remains to this day.
Babbel On: May 2018 Language News Roundup

Babbel On: May 2018 Language News Roundup

How language and color interact, the ongoing tensions in Catalan and more in this edition of Babbel On.
Verbal Hygiene: How People Can Change The Way We Talk

Verbal Hygiene: How People Can Change The Way We Talk

Stop trying to make fetch happen, it’s not going to happen. Or could it?
Cracking The Secrets Of A Lost Language (Or Not)

Cracking The Secrets Of A Lost Language (Or Not)

New technologies may be able to decipher the Voynich manuscript, a strange book that has baffled researchers for decades.
6 Questions With Language Myth Buster John McWhorter: Transcript

6 Questions With Language Myth Buster John McWhorter: Transcript

As part of our “6 Questions With” series, we spoke with Lexicon Valley host John McWhorter about grammar snobs, where linguistic prejudices really come from, and other language myths that just won’t die. Here’s the full interview.