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Actor vs. Actress

Why do we differentiate linguistically between an actor and an actress, but don’t make a similar distinction between a male doctor and a female one? The profession of being an actor was initially limited to men, so the word actress came later...

How We Finish Conversations

A customer-service representative from Seattle, Washington, is curious about the phrases people use as a part of leave-taking when they’re finishing a telephone conversation. Linguists who conduct discourse analysis on such conversations say...

Virga

No need to ask your doctor about virga. That’s just the term for “a diagonal streak of rain that evaporates before it hits the ground.” It derives from the Latin for “rod,” and is related to virgule, a fancy name for...