The grammatical change that took The United States from 'are' to 'is'.

You haven't probably noticed, but the United States HAS slightly changed its name, so to speak. Some countries change their names over the course of time, but the way the US has done it is very different.  —— We say different because the change is so subtle that is barely noticeable. Before the Lincoln administration, they were the “United States.” After Lincoln, it was the “United States.” Can you spot the difference?  Of course, no! You can’t see the difference because it's not a change in words or spelling. The change is purely grammatical.  Before,  people  said  “The United States  are …” Now, people say “The United States  is …” The idea was to draw us away from that original idea of independent states forming a voluntary union, and to the idea that this was one nation of provinces, called “states.” A collection of states forming one whole.  —— Now, no one sees The United States as plural, even though it is still spelled as a plural. Everyone treats it as singul

8 books everyone into languages should read.

When you want to decide on what to read in language and linguistics, it is never easy to pick a reading list; there  is  just so many books out there under the label of linguistics, especially that publications in linguistics have been growing like wild fire in the last couple of decades. So with your limited time and the unlimited number of books, it is always wise to make some research beforehand on what exactly you want to read. There is a lot to choose from, and the best book will depend on what you are specifically interested in. This is why we at  The Language Nerds  compiled a list of linguistics books that will entertain the novice and the expert alike. Here are some places to start:  —— 1.   The Language Instinct  by  Steven Pinker   This is a book for the general science readers, it is very accessible whether you have a background in linguistics or not. It is considered by many as a landmark in linguistics. It is a great introduction and primer to some of the more basic

Alcohol helps speak foreign languages better, according to study.

As language nerds, out of frustration we sometimes turn to alcohol to soothe our language learning nerves. It turns out, that's exactly what you should be doing to speak that foreign tongue better, according to research. ——   A new study published in the  Journal of Psycho-pharmacology , conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool, Maastricht University and King's College London shows that bilingual speakers' ability to speak a foreign language improved after they have consumed alcohol (in moderation).   Well, this might seem contrary to the established belief that alcohol impairs cognitive and motor functions, which include the ability to remember and pay attention. Given that these functions are important to speaking a second language, we might expect that alcohol would in turn impair the ability to speak a second language. On the other hand, alcohol is known to increase self-confidence, reduces social anxiety, and lowers inhibition which makes it e