Geoff Nunberg appears in the following:
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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...
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...
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...
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Evidently it was quite fortuitous. Just a couple of days after MTV's Video Music Awards, Oxford Dictionaries Online released its quarterly list of the new words it was adding. To the delight of the media, there was "twerk" at the top, which gave them still another occasion to link ...
Monday, August 05, 2013
The likes of you and I can't buy Google Glass yet. It's available only to the select developers and opinion-makers who have been permitted to spring $1,500 for the privilege of having the first one on the block. But I've seen a few around my San Francisco neighborhood among ...
Friday, April 26, 2013
Mass shootings, bus crashes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks — we've gotten adept at talking about these things. Act of God or act of man, they're all horrific. At least that was the word you kept hearing from politicians and newscasters describing the Boston bombings and the explosion at the fertilizer plant ...
Thursday, April 04, 2013
It's a funny thing about dictionaries. First we're taught to revere them, then we have to learn to set them aside. Nobody ever went wrong starting a middle-school composition with, "According to Webster's ..." but that's not how you start an op-ed commentary about terrorism or racism. When it comes ...
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 ...