Lewis and Clark illustration"How Lewis and Clark Helped Shape American English." Atlas Obscura, online February 8, 2018.
When President Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark on their cross-continental trek in 1804, he directed them to record every object in their surroundings "worthy of notice." That meant creating a host of new and repurposed words.

Noah Webster illustration"Trial by Stagecoach." American History, December 2017.
Noah Webster's 1785 book tour, undertaken to sell his three-volume set of language textbooks, was likely the first-ever in the United States. It was a challenging exercise in survival.

1870s illustration"Top Ten Misused Words of the 1870s." Huffington Post, online May 21, 2015.
Modern usage mavens would recognize, and no doubt applaud, critic Richard Grant White's dire predictions about the English language, but they might be surprised by the words he condemned.

lincoln portrait"The Secret of Abraham Lincoln's Success as a Writer?" Time.com, online February 19, 2015.
His enemies called him a slang-whanging stump speaker, but he knew his grammar inside-out.

Monitor illustration"In Spite of Super PACs This Isn't the Most Negative Campaign in History." Christian Science Monitor, online February 2, 2012.
This year's seemingly nonstop negative political ads make it easy to believe that mudslinging is at an all-time high. The history of political campaigns, however, tells a different story.

In English Please sidebar"In English Please." Entrepreneur.com, online May 2001.
When you're getting ready to tackle that stack of paperwork, go for plain English—it saves time and money.

Whole Earth cover"Disappearing Languages." Whole Earth, Spring 2000.
As many as half the world's 6,000 or so languages could be extinct by 2050.