Caleb Madison

Caleb Madison is an editorial intern for the OED. He also constructs crossword puzzles, which have appeared in the New York Times, the Onion and currently makes puzzles for the American Values Club crossword.

Articles by Caleb Madison

Do you know the meaning of expecto patronum? Explore this and other Latin origins of Harry Potter spells.

The classical roots of Harry Potter’s magical spells

It is no secret that the Harry Potter series is heavily influenced by the classics. JK Rowling studied Latin as a subsidiary subject at the University of Exeter, and often draws upon classical myth, rhetoric, and nomenclature in her writing. In particular, Rowling usually draws her magical words from classical Latin, and many of the […]

Seinfeld language has had a major impact on American culture

The language of Seinfeld

Unarguably one of the most influential TV shows of all time, Seinfeld played a major role in shaping the social culture of the ‘90s. Famously self-defined as a “show about nothing,” Seinfeld’s insistent concern with the mundane often manifested itself as an obsession with the ultimate, universally-relatable everyday practice: language. Since the show had no […]