Geoff Nunberg

Geoff Nunberg appears in the following:

'Normal': The Word Of The Year (In A Year That Was Anything But)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Linguist Geoff Nunberg says that the fact that people are talking a lot about "the new normal" is a sign that we're living in strange and unsettling times.


Not Fit To Print? When Politicians Talk Dirty, Media Scramble To Sanitize

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Donald Trump isn't the first politician to use coarse language, but linguist Geoff Nunberg says the 2005 Access Hollywood tape of him discussing women's genitalia wasn't like other live-mic incidents.


A Resurgence Of 'Redneck' Pride, Marked By Race, Class And Trump

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The media have used a variety of epithets to describe white working-class Trump supporters. Linguist Geoff Nunberg says these terms embody the class contention that is central to this year's election.


Is Trump's Call For 'Law And Order' A Coded Racial Message?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Donald Trump's promise to be the "law-and-order" candidate revived a slogan often associated with Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign. Linguist Geoff Nunberg discusses the term's racial underpinings


Irked By The Way Millennials Speak? 'I Feel Like' It's Time To Loosen Up

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

While some of his colleagues have criticized the current trend of starting sentences with the phrase, "I feel like," linguist Geoff Nunberg says it's just a case of generational misunderstanding.


Changes To French Spelling Make Us Wonder: Why Is English So Weird?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

As the French debate spelling changes to their language, linguist Geoff Nunberg suggests that Americans take a closer look at some of the quirks of English.


Everyone Uses Singular 'They,' Whether They Realize It Or Not

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The singular, gender-neutral usage of "they" is now acceptable on college campuses, among the genderqueer and in the Washington Post. Linguist Geoff Nunberg traces the rise of the new "they."


Goodbye Jobs, Hello 'Gigs': How One Word Sums Up A New Economic Reality

Monday, January 11, 2016

Once used by '50s hipsters to connote a no-strings-attached job, "gig" has been co-opted by venture capitalists hyping the new economic order. Linguist Geoff Nunberg reflects on the word's resurgence.


So, What's The Big Deal With Starting A Sentence With 'So'?

Thursday, September 03, 2015

It has been called the new "um" or "like," but linguist Geoff Nunberg says starting sentences with "so" isn't a new trend. People have been doing it for years. We're just noticing it more now.


Tracing The Origin Of The Campaign Promise To 'Tell It Like It Is'

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

It's a common pledge of candor for a roster of presidential hopefuls. As linguist Geoff Nunberg explains, the promise to "tell it like it is" has its roots in black speech from the '40s and '50s.


What's A Thamakau? Spelling Bee Is More About Entertainment Than English

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Linguist Geoff Nunberg says it's fitting that the Scripps National Spelling Bee is broadcast by ESPN. (And, by the way, a thamakau is a kind of canoe used in Fiji.)


From TED Talks To Taco Bell, Abuzz With Silicon Valley-Style 'Disruption'

Monday, April 27, 2015

Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the roots and resonance of the latest tech buzzword to catapult into the mainstream. "Disrupt" may be ubiquitous now, but could the term be on the eve of a disruption?


Don't You Dare Use 'Comprised Of' On Wikipedia: One Editor Will Take It Out

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wikipedia editor Bryan Henderson has made it his crusade to edit out the phrase "comprised of" in more than 5 million articles. While his quest is harmless, it shows that zealots can dominate the Web.


Feeling Watched? 'God View' Is Geoff Nunberg's Word Of The Year

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Uber's "God view" shows a map of the cars in an area and the silhouettes of the people who ordered them. Linguist Geoff Nunberg says Uber-Santa doesn't just know when you've been sleeping, but where.


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?


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.


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.


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...


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...


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...