Recent Blog Posts

The world of medicine offers language lovers an uncanny look into our prevalent and inescapable Latin and Greek origins. While we hear and read the language of medicine on a daily basis, most of us seldom have the opportunity to examine the ancient history and etymological origins of these terms. […]

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The Roma are a traditionally nomadic ethnicity with communities all the way across Europe and beyond. Often misunderstood and mistreated – a topic I won’t go into – they are typically thought to be homogeneous. Language variation is just one way to illustrate that this is definitely not the case. […]

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The cosmos that surrounds our planet is a vast playground of knowledge – for astronomers, for physicists, for theologians, and even for experienced linguists.  Below you will find the word origins of some of the most mesmerizing celestial bodies found in outer space. Cosmos: In usage since ancient times, this […]

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Recently a friend brought to my attention a delightful collection of William Safire’s articles from the New York Times Magazine. Many years ago, my friend wrote Safire regarding the origins of the word “trivia”, which the celebrated journalist had mistakenly attributed to the Latin tri via – the meeting point […]

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Is your company pushing the envelope to create disruptive innovations outside the box? Have you considered how scalable your department’s synergy really is? Can your sales reps proactively leverage their resources to snatch up the lowest-hanging fruit? And is that a win-win situation for all? Whether corporate buzzwords are a […]

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Mathematics has a language all its own – a rich tapestry of systems interconnected with ironclad logic. Linguistics, philosophy, and mathematics have shared insights for centuries – Sir Isaac Newton, for example, composed a hefty treatise in 1687 entitled Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Unfortunately, for most of us, high […]

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February is all about preparing for the coming spring. From Groundhog Day to Lent, the focus of this short month is readying ourselves for the glory of springtime (or at least reminding ourselves that it is coming so we can get through the month). A look at the etymology behind […]

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Legalese – the bone-dry and tortuous language of the law – can be as mystifying as it is ubiquitous. To help our readers parse some of the more common and curious legal terms, below are their Latin roots. a posteriori: A phrase used to describe an argument derived from experience, […]

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Simon Critchley wrote an interesting commentary for the New York Times on Sunday, May 16, 2010, titled What is a Philosopher? He opens the article by stating the obvious—“There are as many definitions of philosophy as there are philosophers – perhaps there are even more”—and then follows a round-about, but […]

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The last week of October and the beginning of November brings together some fairly disparate events, holidays, and emotions. For one, especially here in the U.S., October 31 is Halloween, that strange co-opted holiday where kids dress up in cute or ghoulish costumes and beg for candy from their neighbors. […]

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