30 Ways to Say, “You’re Stupid”

I’ve been bingeing on the Shetland mysteries by Ann Cleeves and have finished them all. The novels are set in the Shetland islands to the extreme north of the UK. One of the many enjoyable features is the realistic dialogue, replete with dialect words and British idioms. I encountered several words, some of them insults, … Read more

Words to Describe the Way People Talk

If there is any one interest and practice shared by every human being on earth, it’s talking—usually to other people, but not always. Unsurprisingly, these 7.9 billion talkers possess numerous words for different ways of talking. Many speech words in English derive from other world languages, so the following collection is representative of more than … Read more

Pandemic Vocabulary

This post was prompted by a reader who poses the following question: What is the preferred way to write Covid-19 in prose English? Answer: If you write for publication, it will depend on your publication’s guidelines. These three versions can be found in various publications: COVID-19 Covid-19 covid-19. So far, I’ve seen the all-lowercase covid-19 … Read more

Critical Race Theory

An academic term receiving a lot of attention these days is Critical Race Theory. When a previously specialized term makes its way into the general vocabulary—beg the question, moot, Anglo-Saxon, etc.—misuse runs close behind. Add a hot-button word like race, and the term becomes explosive. Critical Race Theory is a descendant of Critical Theory. Theory … Read more