Geoff Nunberg

Geoff Nunberg appears in the following:

As Fissures Between Political Camps Grow, 'Tribalism' Emerges As The Word Of 2017

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

"The meme of the moment is to say that American politics has become 'tribal,'" linguist Geoff Nunberg says. One sign of the division is the fact that no one can agree on how to use the word.


50 Years After The Summer Of Love, Hippie Counterculture Is Relegated To Kitsch

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Looking back on the vanished styles and language of the hippie movement, linguist Geoff Nunberg says, "The most persistent single pejorative term to come out of the era is 'hippie' itself."


The Enduring Legacy Of Jane Austen's 'Truth Universally Acknowledged'

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Linguist Geoff Nunberg describes the opening sentence to Pride and Prejudice as a "masterpiece of indirection" that is frequently repurposed, but whose irony is never matched.


After Years Of Restraint, A Linguist Says 'Yes!' To The Exclamation Point

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

F. Scott Fitzgerald once declared that using an exclamation point was like laughing at your own joke, but linguist Geoff Nunberg begs to differ. He has begun embracing the mark in his own writing.


Lincoln Said What? Bogus Quotations Take On A New Life On Social Media

Monday, May 15, 2017

Many of those quotes we see on Facebook or Instagram are attributed to authors who never said them. Does it matter when we get a quotation wrong? Linguist Geoff Nunberg says, not always.


'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?