John McWhorter

The Foolish, Malicious War on Apostrophe's
September 30, 2013

In the debate over whether the apostrophe should be eliminated, there may appear to be connection with real life. However, there isn’t—it can only be classified as a kind of journalistic kabuki.

Miley's Twerking Wasn't Racist
August 27, 2013

Many of the people clutching their pearls over Miley Cyrus’s gluteal gyrations at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday don’t want the America they claim to want.

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"
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
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"?
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
May 17, 2013

Yes, you can end a sentence in a preposition.

Proof that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Had Assimilated? He Spoke Black
May 08, 2013

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