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Watch your Language

A bouquet of flower and plant word histories

Many of the flowers commonly found in our gardens have word histories worthy of note. For example, the word daisy is from Old English doegeseage ... Read more

4 years ago by Julia Palmer.

I hate it when you say that!

Recently, my friend Linda and I were talking about language, specifically about language that gets on our nerves. Now I realize that variation or multiple ... Read more

4 years ago by Julia Palmer.

Is language change decay?

In order to be accurate, any description of language must always acknowledge two fundamental principles that are always operating in a language, and these are ... Read more

4 years ago by Julia Palmer.

Where words come from

One of the most fascinating aspects of language and something that interests almost everybody is how new words come into our language. Because language is ... Read more

4 years ago by Julia Palmer.

The aks vs. ask controversy

As I explained in an earlier column, there are two principles that are always at work in language. The first is that language is always ... Read more

4 years ago by Julia Palmer.

Between you and me: A grammatical misfortune in the making

These days, it is not uncommon for someone to be corrected for saying “That’s between you and me” or “Send that to him and me.” ... Read more

4 years ago by Julia Palmer.

Do women really talk more than men?

In her book “Language Myths,” Janet Holmes notes that many languages in the world have sayings or proverbs that describe women’s apparent ability to talk ... Read more

4 years ago by Julia Palmer.

More on Appalachian English

When it comes to Appalachian English, myths and stereotypes abound. It is not uncommon for people outside the area to think that those who live ... Read more

4 years ago by Julia Palmer.

Appalachian English in Virginia, Part 1

Dialectal differences capture our attention, especially those differences or points at which communication breaks down between two people speaking different dialects of the same language. ... Read more

4 years ago by Julia Palmer.

Losing -ed

It’s happening all around us and we don’t even seem to be aware of it. In fact, every time I mention it to somebody, they ... Read more

4 years ago by Julia Palmer.

It’s really crappie!

Crap-pie (krap-e) n., pl. –pies. Either of two edible North American freshwater fishes, Pomoxis nigromaculatus, the black crappie, or P. annularis, the white crappie, related ... Read more

5 years ago by Julia Palmer.

Pairs of words that cause problems

It is with more and more frequency for us to see confusion between pairs of words some of which are homonyms (two words that sound ... Read more

5 years ago by Julia Palmer.

The pesky apostrophe

Today’s column is dedicated to a grammar error which causes a great deal of irritation for those who know the rule governing standard usage and ... Read more

5 years ago by Julia Palmer.

Sayings from different languages

Learning a different language is difficult and time consuming (although ultimately worth it) because different languages divide up reality in different ways. While it is ... Read more

5 years ago by Julia Palmer.

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