Welcome to my website! I'm a linguist and freelance writer living in Eugene, Oregon. My writing focuses on language-related topics, including American English, word histories, and grammar and style. My new book, the forthcoming Splendiferous Speech, recounts the lively history of how early Americans learned to embrace their own brand of English. Previous books about America's colorful linguistic past explore obsolete twentieth-century slang, the origins of our most common expressions, the country's long tradition of outrageous political invective, and the centuries-long fight over what constitutes proper grammar.
My articles cover a broad range of topics, from Noah Webster's 1785 book tour to plain English for business owners. My byline has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, American History, Christian Science Monitor, Whole Earth, Atlas Obscura, Entrepreneur.com, and Elks Magazine, among other places. I have written about research, usage, and style for Writer's Digest and The Writer, as well as teaching workshops on research for writers and book proposal basics. I also put my skills to use with nonfiction editing and book coaching. I am a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Dictionary Society of North America.