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How did a word meaning "with bread" come to sprout its corporate connotation?
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From the evolution of ain't to double negatives, simply saying no is wonderfully complex.
Our language contains a trove of buried clues, petrified remnants of its past. But you have to know where to dig.
Lots of languages divide words into categories, like male and female. How does that happen?
Words have a way of rebelling against their etymological parents, acquiring meanings of their own.
That language changes is certain. How quickly or slowly is another matter.
The story of how one little verb developed a seemingly endless capacity to absorb new meanings.
A controversial theory holds that English, along with other Germanic languages, was profoundly influenced early on by Phoenician. The evidence is intriguing.
Mark Twain famously depicted what he called the "Missouri Negro dialect" of Jim. Would that be acceptable today?
Animals bark, sing, purr and even gesture, all fascinating but a far cry from human communication.