The United States Is Growing – And Shrinking

At the dawn of the 21st century the United States had about 300 million people, and could add 50 million by 2030. Still, some parts of the US will lose population as more people move to the city. The Urban Institute’s map of regional population shifts illustrates this. Although Maine won’t see any population growth overall, theContinue reading “The United States Is Growing – And Shrinking”

Random: What’s In a Word?

Millennials catch a lot of flack for using the word random incorrectly.  For example, “Like, this totally random dude came up to me and, like, said ‘Whatever!’” Dictionary.com defines random as “unpredictable,” “lacking uniformity,” or “occurring without definite aim”  Or more technically, “a process of selection in which each item of a set has anContinue reading “Random: What’s In a Word?”

Messin’ With Texas

I’ve never been to Texas, though I hope to visit someday. You can’t help but hear a lot about it. Being the second largest state, Texas has a huge impact on everything from presidential elections to textbooks. And Texas is growing fast. The US Census claims the overall Texas population will grow by 6.7 million people overContinue reading “Messin’ With Texas”

Zombie: What’s In a Word?

I remember watching Night of the Living Dead in college 20 years ago, and thinking it was one of the funniest movies I`d ever seen. But it wasn`t meant to be a comedy. AMC`s tv series The Walking Dead is more sophisticated, and the special effects are far superior. American`s fascination this Haitian voodoo legend goes way back. TheContinue reading “Zombie: What’s In a Word?”

Slut: What’s In a Word?

It’s not nice to call a woman a slut. But maybe it’s not about sex as much as we think. At least not originally. The origin of slut is uncertain. We don’t know where it’s been, though it’s gotten around. But there are some guesses. The English Oxford Dictionary encourages us to compare slut with theContinue reading “Slut: What’s In a Word?”

Will a Bachelor Tax Create More Babies?

At first I thought it was Onion style satire. Japanese bachelors should pay a handsome man tax to encourage them to marry. Japanese men are losing interest in matrimony, often because of the enormous financial demands of marriage and family. But fewer births could mean Japan’s population will be a fifth smaller by mid-century. TheContinue reading “Will a Bachelor Tax Create More Babies?”

Man & Wife: Word Origin & Sexism

Why is a happy couple is declared man and wife? Why not man and woman, or wife and husband? One view is that upon marriage a man retains his personhood while a woman becomes a possession. Similarly, the word mankind implies that only males are people, thus excluding half the population. Language is fascinating. My interestContinue reading “Man & Wife: Word Origin & Sexism”

When Did Americans Lose Their English Accents?

American and British speech are so different that even professional actors struggle with sounding authentic. So when did Americans lose their English accent? Maybe Americans never had an English accent. At least not a modern British accent. English is constantly changing. In the late Middle Ages Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales: Whan that Aprille with hisContinue reading “When Did Americans Lose Their English Accents?”

Is Gamergate Conservative or Liberal?

Opponents say GamerGate has a conservative agenda. And though GamerGate supporters often deny that they are conservatives, the conservative media has mostly supported the movement. Allum Bokhari, however, says his research shows that most GamerGate supporters are liberal. In brief, GamerGate is the claim by video game enthusiasts that the gaming media is corrupt. But opponents of GamerGateContinue reading “Is Gamergate Conservative or Liberal?”