John McWhorter

A Quixotic History of Doomed Efforts to Fix Spelling
August 09, 2013

The Grumpy Grammarian on how we cope with the gap between how words sound and how we write them down.

No More "Conversations"
We don't need to talk about race. We need to end racial profiling.
July 20, 2013

I have a hard time joining the chorus celebrating the President’s comments on Trayvon Martin as one of his most stirring speeches. His legendary race speech in 2008 was near literary; Friday’s statement qualified more as remarks.

The End of Racial Demagoguery
Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are so over
July 17, 2013

Quiet as it’s kept, the era of the “militant” black leader is over. Despite the fearmongering on Drudge and elsewhere, there are no black leaders calling for insurrection. 

A New "C-Word"?
The ludicrous debate over the word "cracker"
July 02, 2013

The ludicrous debate over the word "cracker" in the Trayvon Martin trial. 

The Grumpy Grammarian: Surely, Actually the Scolds Have Lost Their Minds
June 27, 2013

The Grumpy Grammarian says: Words change their meaning, so give the vice president a break.

David Brooks' Favorite New Theory of Language Is Wrong
May 23, 2013

Figuring out a culture's worldview from its word choices isn't as easy as it seems.

Freedom From, Freedom To
Yes, you can end a sentence in a preposition
May 17, 2013

Yes, you can end a sentence in a preposition.

Proof that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Had Assimilated? He Spoke Black
Black English, the most American part of our language
May 08, 2013

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's tweets, with their casual use of black English, demonstrate how assimilated he was. 

The Royal They
Fighting against the tyranny of pronouns
April 30, 2013

Why we should fight against the tyranny of pronouns.

The AP's Crime Against Logic
Its "illegal immigrant" change makes no sense
April 09, 2013

The wire service's "illegal immigrant" change makes no sense.

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