Lexicon Valley
Lexicon Valley

Is “Try And” an Acceptable Substitute for “Try To”?

Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a quirk of grammar that Henry Fowler believed “should not be discountenanced.”

March 9 2015 10:29 AMTwo Theories on the Origin of CarnivalListen to Slate’s show about the contested origin of a gluttonous word, featuring lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Feb. 23 2015 3:07 PMSex WorkersUniversity of Michigan professor Anne Curzan discusses -ess, -ette, -trix, and other feminine endings in the English language.
Feb. 9 2015 10:27 AMDid the Word Quiz Result From a Bet?Listen to Slate’s show about a supposed historical wager and the neologism it spawned, featuring lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Jan. 26 2015 11:20 AMThe Many Lives of Anna KareninaJournalist and author Masha Gessen discusses the challenge of translating a literary masterpiece.
Dec. 29 2014 11:29 AMLexicon Valley: Lexicographers Explain Their Words of the Year
Dec. 1 2014 10:56 AMWhat Does It Mean to Sound Gay?Listen to Slate’s show about the myths and realities of the stereotypical gay man’s voice.
Nov. 3 2014 10:41 AMHow Did We Go From Four and Twenty to Twenty-Four?Listen to Slate’s show about the history and evolution of writing out numbers in the English language.
Oct. 6 2014 10:33 AMThe Man They Call Mister SlangListen to Slate's show about Jonathon Green's decades-long quest to document slang throughout the English-speaking world.
Sept. 8 2014 4:30 PMSarah Palin’s PronounsListen to Slate’s show about the rhetorical effect of this, that, these, and those.
Aug. 12 2014 1:07 PMThe Manic Pixie and the Magical NegroListen to Slate's show about the pitfalls of coining a viral term.
July 15 2014 10:33 AMNo, Your Language Doesn’t Influence How You Experience the WorldListen to Slate’s show about The Language Hoax, in which author and linguist John McWhorter pushes back against the idea that language affects culture.
Jan. 28 2014 11:32 AMLexicon Valley: Where Did the Word Dude Come From?
Dec. 17 2013 12:45 PMThe Crowdsourcing of JFK’s Most Iconic SpeechListen to Slate's show about the crafting of President Kennedy’s inaugural address.
Aug. 6 2013 8:30 PMGrammar Scolds Unite!Embracing the hand-slapping, prescriptivist schoolmarm in all of us.
July 1 2013 1:16 PMCan Geography Affect Language?The uncanny correlation between altitude and language development.
Feb. 26 2015 11:56 AMWhy It’s Slatesters, not Slate-stersOverheard on email: Slate’s copy desk rounds up its February style and grammar rulings.
Feb. 10 2015 7:45 AMSlate Voice: “Why Do Brits Say Maths and Americans Say Math?”Listen to Katy Waldman read her piece about doing the maths.
Feb. 9 2015 8:12 AMHow Should Slate Write About Bruce Jenner?  Outward editor Bryan Lowder shares a memo on writing about transgender issues. 
Jan. 12 2015 12:48 PMThe Etymology of Cockamamie Is Just ThatListen to Slate’s show about the Yiddish-inflected origin of a crazy word, featuring lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Dec. 15 2014 11:58 AMToo Much Grog Will Make You Groggy. But Where Does Grog Come From?Listen to Slate's show about the etymology of an 18th-century quaff, featuring lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Nov. 17 2014 12:31 PMHelp Solve the Mystery! Where Did Get One’s Goat Come From?Listen to Slate’s show about the etymology of a thoroughly caprine phrase, featuring lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Oct. 20 2014 9:09 AMWhere Did the Word Snark Come From?
Sept. 23 2014 11:41 AMWhich Came First: Orange the Color or Orange the Fruit?Listen to Slate’s show about the etymology of a well-traveled word, featuring lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Aug. 25 2014 7:45 AMLinguaFile II: Can You Guess the Mystery Word?Listen to Slate’s show about the etymology and history of a peculiar word, featuring lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
July 28 2014 12:31 PMWhere Did Discombobulate Come From?Listen to Slate’s show about the etymology of a most unusual word, featuring lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
March 14 2014 10:09 AMOur Next Witness, Your Honor: The DictionaryListen to Slate’s show about court cases in which the dictionary played a starring role.
Dec. 30 2013 10:52 AMWhy Is No Among a Child's First Words?Listen to Slate's show about the surprisingly complex taxonomy of simple negation.
Dec. 10 2013 1:56 PMWill Learning a "Logical" Language Make You Think More Logically?Listen to Slate's show about an invented language that forces you to choose your words carefully.
July 15 2013 3:02 PMCan a Language Make You More Musical?How tonal languages such as Cantonese might give would-be musicians a leg up.
June 25 2013 1:07 PMHow to Raise Verbal ChildrenWhy talking to your kids is one of the most important investments you can make in their future.

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