Streams

Geoff Nunberg

Geoff Nunberg appears in the following:

The Language That Divides America: From Red And Blue To Percents

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Nobody knows what was in the president's cup when he saluted the Marines last month, but it became known as the "latte salute." Do people still use "red" and "blue" when discussing a cultural divide?

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Do Feelings Compute? If Not, The Turing Test Doesn't Mean Much

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

For the first time, a computer passed the test for machines engaging in intelligent thought. Linguist Geoff Nunberg says the real test is whether computers can behave the same way thinking people do.

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150 Years After Marx, 'Capital' Still Can't Shake Loose Of 'Das Kapital'

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century evokes another famous tome with "capital" in its title, and makes comparisons inevitable.

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Hackers? Techies? What To Call San Francisco's Newcomers

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Linguist Geoff Nunberg lives in the Mission and says young tech employees have been pouring into the neighborhood. But what to call these new residents? He says the term "techie" used to suggest a computer whiz with no social skills; now it suggests one with no social conscience.

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Sorry Assiduous (adj.) SAT-Takers, Linguist In Dudgeon (n.) Over Vocab Flashcards

Monday, December 23, 2013

Many students prepare for the SAT by drilling themselves on esoteric, arcane and recondite words — like esoteric, arcane and recondite. Linguist Geoff Nunberg doesn't discourage these efforts, but he does have a word of caution: memorizing a definition is hardly the same as learning a new word.

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Narcissistic Or Not, 'Selfie' Is Nunberg's Word Of The Year

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Linguist Geoff Nunberg says he feels a little defensive about choosing "selfie" — a word that wears its ephemerality on its outstretched sleeve — as the word of 2013. But not only was this a year when we couldn't stop posting photos of ourselves online; we couldn't stop talking about it either.

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The Internet's 'Twerk' Effect Makes Dictionaries Less Complete

Thursday, September 12, 2013

When dictionaries add trendy words like "twerk," they're prioritizing the fleeting language habits of the young, says Geoff Nunberg. And our fascination with novel words tends to eclipse subtle changes in the meanings of old ones — "which are often more consequential," he says.

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Bracing For Google Glass: An In-Your-Face Technology

Monday, August 05, 2013

The new eyeglass frames allow you to take pictures and browse the Internet while you wear them. Early adopters focused on the tiny screens have already been dubbed "glassholes." Fresh Air linguist Geoff Nunberg reminds us that in Shakespeare's time "distraction" was another word for madness.

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'Horrific' And 'Surreal': The Words We Use To Bear Witness

Friday, April 26, 2013

After more than a week of gruesome media coverage, linguist Geoff Nunberg takes a close look at the words we use to describe events that mesmerize and horrify, that sensitize and desensitize, that transfix and repel us at the same time.

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Even Dictionaries Grapple With Getting 'Marriage' Right

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Lexicographers know they're in the hot seat as they confront the changing use of the word "marriage." Linguist Geoff Nunberg says the key to getting the new definition right is to crisply describe everything that's in the category and nothing that isn't.

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The Great Escape

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Are you dreaming of a big summer vacation — on a staycation budget? Time Out’s Billie Cohen has suggestions for cheap weekend getaways. Hellooooo, Palmyra! Also: Mark Zandi of Moody’s Economy.com takes a look at the history of subprime mortgages — and what we can do to avoid the next ...