edin

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The Beatles and their impact on English

The annual IATEFL Conference is being held this week in Liverpool, a city forever associated with the Beatles. The conference opened with a lecture …

Does Geography Influence How a Language Sounds?

A linguist finds a correlation between "ejective consonants" and high altitude.<p><b>Languages spoken at high altitudes are more likely to contain a certain kind of sound made using short bursts of air, according to a new study.</b><p>The study, published online June 12 in the journal <i>PLoS ONE</i>, is the first to …

Cupertinos in the spotlight

About seven years ago, in March 2006, I wrote a Language Log post about "the Cupertino effect," a term to describe spellchecker-aided …

Book review: Sick English, by Janet Byron Anderson

Specialist language sometimes spreads beyond its initial domain and becomes part of common currency. From baseball we get <i>home run</i>; from jousting, <i>full</i> …

Alexander Ellis on the chameleon nature of language

Alexander John Ellis (1814–90) was a musicologist, philologist and phonetician whose approach to language was systematic and descriptive. He gave …

83 Years of Great Gatsby Book Cover Designs: A Photo Gallery

Everybody is familiar with Francis Cugat's original cover art for <i>The Great Gatsby</i>. It famously gives expression to lines from Fitzgerald's classic …

On the other hand, alone

My faith in the possibility of integrity and self-criticism in humankind got a real boost the other day when I read a post on Lingua Franca in which …