Geoff Nunberg appears in the following:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...