Awesome language articles to read (October)

(Posted by Sandeep)

Check out these articles and post more interesting language articles in the comments!

“The ‘the’ in country names,” The Economist

The Economist picked up on my Ukraine post and answered some of my questions.

“The Rise of Awesome,” Intelligent Life

An analysis of the ubiquitous word “awesome” and how it changed in meaning over time.

“Awesome” became the default descriptor for anything good. In 1982, I was seven and I swallowed it whole. It stayed with me for decades. In 2005, I remember meeting a girl when I had just seen “Batman Begins”, the moody psychological picture that reinvigorated a tired franchise. “It’s awesome,” I told her. “Awesome. Just awesome.” She wondered, she later said, what kind of journalist had just one adjective in his vocabulary. Somehow, she married me all the same.

“Hearing Bilingual: How Babies Sort Out Language,” The New York Times

An overview of recent research on bilingual development.

But there is more and more research to draw on, reaching back to infancy and even to the womb. As the relatively new science of bilingualism pushes back to the origins of speech and language, scientists are teasing out the earliest differences between brains exposed to one language and brains exposed to two.

“Why TV shouldn’t be so afraid of the word f—,New York Magazine

A great (but not-so-family-friendly) discussion on whether TV should really be censoring certain words. Look out for an epic post by John and me on the same subject, coming up in the next few weeks.