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Talking As Equals in the Workplace

Matt, a new college grad in Austin, Texas, wants guidance about what kinds of things are appropriate to share during conversations in the workplace. Sociolinguist Janet Holmes has extensively researched and written about this topic, including in...

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...

Overuse of “Like”

Is there a way to get youngsters to stop overusing the word “like”? The mother of a middle-schooler who’s picked up the habit wonders where it came from and how she can stop it. Grant and Martha have suggestions, and Martha...

Online Language Resources

Martha and Grant share a couple of favorite online sources for reading about language: Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words newsletter and Arnold Zwicky’s blog. Be sure to check out Zwicky’s post, “Dialect dangerous to...