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The Most Dreadful Thing at Sea

Victor Hugo’s 1874 novel Ninety-Three includes a terrifying description of a heavy cannon coming loose on board a ship, an event he calls “perhaps the most dreadful thing that can take place at sea.” This is part of a complete...

Evolving Sign Language

All languages evolve, and sign language is no exception. The British Sign Language Corpus Project has collected footage of nearly 250 deaf people across the U.K., revealing lots of changes, especially as the internet has made it easier for hearing...

Written Language is Like…

The 19th Century French writer Adolphe de Lamartine said that written language is like a mirror, which it is necessary to have in order that man know himself and be sure that he exists. This is part of a complete episode.

Skehdoolee

A woman in Racine, Wisconsin, says her father and his fellow bus drivers always pronounced the word schedule as “skeh-DOO-lee.” Is that an accepted pronunciation? This is part of a complete episode.

So. Much. Emphasis.

You’ve seen people indicate emphasis by putting a period after each of several words, and capitalizing the first letter of each word. A Michigan listener wonders how this stylistic trick arose. Her question was prompted by this description of...