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America boasts more Christians than any other country on planet Earth. But you wouldn't know it from listening to us. According to Google Ngram Viewer data, a searchable database of millions of printed works stretching back 500 years, most of the central terms in the Christian vocabulary are rapidly declining. One 2012 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology, for example, analyzed 50 moral terms associated with Christianity and found that a whopping 74 percent were used less frequently over the course of the last century: "Grace" ... declined "Mercy" ... declined "Wisdom" ... declined "Faith" ... declined "Sacrifice" ... declined "Honesty" ... declined "Righteousness" ... declined "Evil" ... [...]
Mon, Sep 10, 2018
Source: Language
If you handle an object, you leave your fingerprints all over it. When that object is examined closely, your identity can be easily revealed. In a way, the same is true when you write something. Every individual has what linguists call an idiolect: a personal dialect, or a sort of verbal fingerprint left behind in the form of your preference for certain words, phrases, and grammar. Sometimes, these linguistic profiles can help identify an anonymous author. No doubt internet sleuths have studied the language of an anonymous op-ed in The New York Times to identify the unnamed Trump administration official who [...]
Thu, Sep 06, 2018
Source: Language
Many people don't know there are different kinds of dashes. They often call a hyphen a dash — which, to an editor, is like calling a period a colon. In fact, there are an unnerving assortment of horizontal lines available to typographers, including (but not limited to) the hyphen, soft hyphen, minus sign, angled dash, swung dash, en dash, figure dash, em dash, two-em dash, three-em dash, and horizontal rule. Here's a brief rundown: Hyphen: - A hyphen is that little bit of mortar between the bricks of compound words such as Coca-Cola and high-strung. Its origins trace back to ancient Greece; its modern [...]
Mon, Jul 23, 2018
Source: Language