A high-flown term for ‘salary’ seems to be rooted in a metaphor of ground grain, but the word’s sound symbolism suggests something else.
An obsolete term still has its place in some legal contexts.
A hardworking ancient three-letter root turns out to be at the foot of many words across Indo-European languages.
The Monitor’s language columnist is reminded that bureaucracy is literally ‘rule by desks.’
Why English has so many forms for the verbs referring to coming out of sleep
Making the case for a go-to term for journalists who want to signal newsworthiness.
A look at the surprising etymology of this dark word in the news.
A vintage mystery-thriller flick provides a very current term for a form of psychological warfare that seems much in use lately.
A girl looks through a window of a train parked at a railway station in New Delhi on April 20.
A leaked memo and the controversy about Confederate memorials are both potentially monumental stories.
After the French presidential election, a look at our vocabulary for describing political parties.
The roots of this common word hint that striking a deal can be such hard work.
The story of the Huguenots may have some lessons for us today.
After the “dragged passenger” incident, United Airlines has an opportunity to learn what it really means to “accommodate” the public.
A look at a distinctively American political term and its distinctively obscure derivation.
A phrase much in use lately to describe uncomfortable silences reminds us how idioms work best when they stay in touch with their origins.
‘Care’ began as an emotion but now is an activity accounting for nearly a fifth of the United States economy.
A look at Washington’s vocabulary for ways of making officials available to the media – or not.
Political ‘women in white’ at the US president’s address to Congress prompt thoughts on the link between ‘suffering’ and ‘suffrage.’