Tag » language
The Oxford Dictionary online adds new words on a quarterly basis. I personally remember when it was last updated because I srsly had to take a Selfie to catch my expression since I couldn’t find an emoji to describe it, which made me want to vom. Also twerking. Well it’s time to call up your bestie again because a new list of wacadoodle words have been released and I for one do not know what to do with myself (a new subentry). I kind of want a life ... Read More
  Apple is a company known for it’s LGBT-friendliness, but if you looked up the word “gay” on the Apple Dictionary any time before this week, you wouldn’t know it. For a long time the dictionary defined “gay” as 1. homosexual; 2. lighthearted and carefree” and you’ll be shocked to read this one: “3 informal foolish; stupid.” Although we’ve all heard people misuse the word in that extremely ... Read More
Dictionary entries for the word shame include “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety” and “a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong.” Etymologically, the word comes from the Old English scamu, a “loss of esteem” or something that “brings disgrace[...] private parts.” The word is powerful, calling to mind images of our ... Read More
  Sweden officially has a gender-neutral pronoun for those who don’t identify with male or female pronouns. The word “hen” first came up in the 1960s, and in 1994, linguist Hans Karlgren proposed that the word “hen” be used universally to avoid mix-ups. Everyone could be referred to as “hen.”    Now the word refers specifically to individuals who identify as gender-neutral, and Sweden has made an official ... Read More
Words matter. They carry some real weight. Simon Moritz, an out and proud gay man, recently tore down an experience where he was called a common gay slur. It made him realize that a real part of homophobia is linked to misogyny. He exposes the celebration of masculinity, in gay culture, as another example of  “demonizing femininity.” He discusses how being labeled made him question the root of that label. He discovered a real link between ... Read More
A gem from the Mansplaining Paul Ryan meme I was absolutely smitten with the word “mansplaining” when it first emerged a couple years back. The term fit my particular frustration with being talked down to by male classmates, professors, and employers like a cozy little sweater of outrage. I found it extremely satisfying to call out offending men-folk with the snappy little portmanteau, and feminist blogs adopted the idea of “mansplaining” ... Read More
Name-calling has always been unfortunately common in elementary, middle, and high schools, but in recent years, people have begun to realize that it’s not just part of growing up, but a serious problem. The Backbone Zone, an anti-bullying project that “helps students find theirs,” has released a poster campaign that gives students tools to confront sexist and homophobic language when they hear and see it.  The posters juxtapose literal ... Read More
Flappers knew how to get dolled up and keep it copacetic in the 20s, and today we love them just as much as they would have wanted us to. Besides partying and staying in style, these ladies created a whole new language so catchy that a lot of it stuck around until today. We all know that the Real McCoy is the cat’s pajamas, not to take any wooden nickels, and that no one likes a wet blanket. But do you know what “Butt me” or “Oh, ... Read More
Leave it to The Gray Lady to publish a story about a very current case involving New York cheerleaders that uses archaic, offensive, and misogynistic language.  The cheerleaders' woes began some three months ago when a group of girls from a high school outside Buffalo, NY, began to exhibit uncontrollable tics. Last week it was widely reported that the cause was "conversion disorder." The Today Show also flashed around the words "mass hysteria," but the doctor ... Read More