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language



  • What Does it Mean to Call Someone a "Male Chauvinist Pig"?

    by Julie Willett

    Merging the term "chauvinism" from the old left and the radical 1960s desire to render authority grotesque, the term emerged with the second wave of feminism. But today some of the sexists labeled with it appear to have turned it into a badge of honor. 



  • Where Gender-Neutral Pronouns Come From

    The invention of pronouns to better address gender has been part of the English language for a long time, as has moral panic about the degradation of culture and speech. 


  • The Ethics of the "N-Word" in the Classroom

    by Alan Singer

    Neither censorious expungement nor free speech absolutism offer good practical guidelines for teaching historical sources that include racial slurs. A professor of history education explains his approach. 


  • The Birth, and Life, of a Word

    by Ralph Keyes

    One of the most widely-used terms in discussions of American racism has its roots in a campaign by two pro-slavery writers to troll abolitionists through a fake tract promoting "miscegenation."



  • The English history of African American English

    by Shana Poplack

    Many of the features stereotypically associated with contemporary African American Vernacular English have a robust precedent in the history of the English language.



  • Absolute English

    by Michael D Gordin

    Science once communicated in a polyglot of tongues, but now English rules alone. How did this happen – and at what cost?