Ben Zimmer

Even if you close your eyes, you’ll still hear Donald Trump sniffing. Linguists might call [these visuals] paralinguistics, every form of information including facial gestures and facial features. Obviously these things get scrutinized in tremendous detail, so that a cough can be of outsized importance. [But] that’s all part of the package.

“Even if you close your eyes, you’ll still hear Donald Trump sniffing. Linguists might call [these visuals] paralinguistics, every form of information including facial gestures … Read More

When words come out of politician’s mouth that are linguistically incorrect, people see it reflecting their intelligence. Sarah Palin was called out for “refudiate,” which seemed to combine refute and repudiate. One favourite Bushism was “misunderestimate.”

“When words come out of politician’s mouth that are linguistically incorrect, people see it reflecting their intelligence. Sarah Palin was called out for “refudiate,” which … Read More

Even though a definite article is supposed to bring something into focus, Donald Trump uses it in a very general way. It’s seen by many observers as a kind of racial distancing. Often using that article seems unnecessary. [But] it is serving some function, which is to represent a group collectively rather than as individuals.

“Even though a definite article is supposed to bring something into focus, Donald Trump uses it in a very general way. It’s seen by many … Read More