Language

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What We Mean When We Say Hello

The curious geography of American greetings.

Defining the Worst Type of Street Design

Part street, part road, 'stroads' are unsafe, ugly, and bad for local economies.

REUTERS

How 5 Decades of Hispanic Immigration Gave Miami Its Own Unique English Dialect

Even native English speakers now sound slightly Latino. 

copslang.com

The Most Popular Entries in a New 'Cop Slang' App Are Predictably Filthy

The user-generated dictionary wants to introduce you to how police officers actually talk to each other.

Mark Byrnes

No, You're a 'Carpet Knight'!

The best old-timey insults from a new collection of long lost phrases.

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Where You Live Actually Changes the Noises You Make

The science of why certain languages sound the way they do.

Haus der Kunst

A Celebration of Yiddish, Emblazoned on a Former Symbol of Nazi Power

The monumental work by American conceptual artist Mel Bochner represents a particularly sweet triumph of art.

University of California at Berkeley

John J. Gumperz, Who Mapped the Infrastructure of Spoken Language, Dies at 91

He pioneered the study of how people convey and conceal meaning and social standing with words, intonations, and accents.

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The Strange Decline of the Philly Accent

Linguists are still trying to understand the surprising evolution of how Philadelphians speak.

Dmitry Gudkov/Transportation Alternatives

It's No 'Accident': NYPD Changes the Way It Talks About Traffic Deaths

The NYPD is replacing the term "accident" with the word "collision," a change that underscores a new approach to bike and pedestrian fatalities.

Twitter Data Use of the Day: Mapping the Languages of New York City

5 percent of Tweets out of the city are in a language other than English.

Tupungato/Shutterstock

The Case for Simplified Coffee Shop Ordering

Forget "venti cafe latte." One London store would rather you ask for a "cup of really really milky coffee."

Ed Manley/James Cheshire

London's Raucous Babble of Languages

Data engineers examined more than 3 million tweets to create this sprawling linguistic cartography.

Flickr/amandabhslater

What's a Language Worth to a Small Town in Scotland?

A fisherman's dialect dies out.

Reuters

The Crazy Pidgin Language That Unites Africa's Megacity

Finding a common linguistic ground in a city of 20 million and 500 languages.