Posts

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

6 Grammatical mistakes everyone makes and you shouldn't.

Many of us get into the habit of making writing mistakes either because of unawareness on our part or just mere sloppiness. Many of these mistakes affect the way readers perceive our pieces of writing; foolish typos can make the difference between a great first impression and a tainted one. We at  The Language Nerds  took the liberty to collect the most common mistakes that the majority of people tend to make and we want you to watch out for them so that there is nothing to worry about when you want to apply for your next job or when you want to email your boss. So let's see what we've got!  —— 1. Fewer vs. Less This one is tricky but easy to avoid. Use fewer when you can count the number of things being discussed.  “ Fewer  than the required number of people passed the test.”  Use less when describing intangible concepts, like time.  “It took me  less  time to complete the paper.” 2. Which vs. That This one is not entirely easy to spot. There are two ways to remember whet

8 books everyone into languages should read.

Image
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

Bilinguals perceive time differently​, study finds.

Image
 People who speak more than one language are fascinating. They provide insight into the power of language and how it shapes the way we think and experience the world. In a recent study, it has been shown that people who speak two different languages experience time differently.  —— Linguists Panos Athanasopoulos from the Lancaster University and Emanuel Bylund from Stellenbosch University and Stockholm University were able to demonstrate in a study published in the  Journal of Experimental Psychology: General ,   that people who speak two languages fluently think about time differently depending on the language context in which they are estimating the duration of specific events.  We've always known that the language we speak influences our worldview in interesting ways. How languages express time is a case in point. English and Swedish, for example, mark the duration of time with terms that describe physical distance (e.g.  short break ,  long wedding , etc.). Spanish and Gre

24 Jokes And Puns Only Grammar Nerds Will Laugh At.

Image
We know firsthand what it feels to be a language nerd; it’s fun. Part of the joy of being one is that we see and deal with language and words differently and far more interestingly. Wordplay and puns are our jam. This is why we put together a compilation of jokes and puns that are made only for the entertainment of fellow language nerds. Have a good read 🤓 —— 1. 2. 3. —— 4. 5. 6. —— 7. 8. 9. —— 10. 11. 12. —— 13. 14. 15. —— 16. 17. 18. —— 19. 20. 21. —— 22. 23. 24. —— ——

26 Reasons Why The English Language is Insane.

Image
Whether you speak English as a first or a second language, you have your own reasons for hating the English language. It could be the irritating spelling, pronunciation, or the confusing grammar rules that natives break all the time. Because a lot of people are learning English today than ever before, most of them express their frustration while trying to learn and make sense of English. To give you a sense of this frustration and the confusing nature of the English language, here are 26 reasons why people are confused and why English is still a mystery even to its native speakers.  —— 1. 2. 3. —— 4. 5. 6. —— 7. 8. 9. —— 10. 11. 12. —— 13. 14. 15. —— 16. 17. 18. —— 19. 20. 21. —— 22. 23. 24. —— 25. 26. ——