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‘The best way to lose weight is to eat clean’, my gym instructor informs me. There’s a linguistic crime in this sentence, but it isn’t the awkward non-adverb at the end. It’s the word ‘clean’. It’s part of a broad and largely accidental linguistic phenomenon: language that shames by default. A brief modern etymology The […]more
As anyone who has taken an anatomy class or tried to read a prescription may attest, it can be difficult to interpret those long, Greek- and Latin-based medical words! However, sometimes these complicated-sounding words hide a simple meaning. So, while we could sit here and define rare terms like latissimus and pharmacopoeia, it seems more interesting […]more
Expectant parents don’t generally have a lot of spare time for idly perusing the dictionary, but if they did, they would find that the vocabulary of the event they joyfully anticipate has undergone significant changes over the centuries. Consider, for instance, the verb to deliver. In contemporary use, the mother is often the subject of […]more