Tag Archives: Language

Preserving Heritage: The Centuries-Old West African Song in the Mende Language

A family from Georgia has maintained a unique heritage by transmitting a mysterious song through generations, dating back to their ancestors’ era of enslavement. Upon investigation, researchers confirmed that this song was an authentic West African funeral tune in the Mende language, remarkably preserved through mother-to-daughter transmission over several centuries. Source

Class & Language: A 1950s British Paradox

In the 1950s, it was observed that the British middle class often employed intricate language in an effort to appear more sophisticated. In contrast, the genuine upper class favored the simpler vernacular of the working class, opting for terms like “scent” rather than “perfume.” A 1940 study examining the linguistic disparities between the American upper… Read More »

Zed vs. Zee: Pronunciation Variations Across English-Speaking Countries

In the majority of English-speaking countries across the globe, the letter “Z” is pronounced as “zed.” However, the United States stands out as the sole exception, opting for the pronunciation “zee.” This divergence can be traced back to the late 17th century, when American lexicographer Noah Webster decided to simplify certain aspects of the English… Read More »

The Dark and Gruesome Origins of Going Postal

If you’ve ever worked in an office, chances are at some point you’ve had to interact with that coworker. You know the one: miserable, antisocial, constantly grumbling about every minor inconvenience. The one who never takes lunch with the rest of the staff, is constantly late or underperforming, and responds to even the most reasonable… Read More »

Isolated Tangier Island: A Dialect Preserved from the 1700s

Tangier Island, located 12 miles off the coast of Virginia, has maintained its isolation to such an extent that its inhabitants still speak a dialect similar to the one used by the island’s original colonists in the 1700s. This distinct dialect features a significant example of the Big Vowel Shift, with the word “house” pronounced… Read More »

American Versus British English: Dialects vs. Languages

Few days ago we did an article on the History of English and promised to write another article detailing the difference between “American Versus British English: Dialects vs. Languages”. It’s an interesting question exactly what the difference between a language and a dialect is. And you may be wondering why I picked this picture of…… Read More »