Weather and Vocabulary

Yesterday, I talked about narrative uses of weather. When I discussed this with my mother the linguist, she didn’t hesitate to point out another—the interesting things that weather does to a cultural vocabulary.
There’s an Old English word, wederian. It means ‘to be good weather.’ Think about this a bit. What does it say about that [...]


Before we head deeper into the depths of deception, we need to take a little digression into one of the peculiarities of the English language, one that both makes sure that our sentences aren’t absurdly long and means that we need to be really careful about our sentences’ metamessages. It’s also why it sounds rather [...]

Words Fail Me (and Isn’t That Awesome?)

Yesterday, I talked about situations in which one person just wouldn’t understand what another was explaining because they just didn’t have the mindset for it. But as UZ pointed out in a comment to that post, sometimes, it’s not the mindset that gets in the way: instead, it’s the vocabulary. Here, language barrier plays a [...]