The Word on the Street
Words and language inspire us! Read the latest news and updates from Planet Word. Learn how the language we hear all around us is shaping our lives right now and how exciting innovations in applied linguistics—from technology to medicine to psychology to forensics—are changing our world every day.
When national security threats appear, we need to be equipped to handle them with more than just manpower — we need language experts too. Bill Rivers, executive director of the Joint National Committee for Languages, explains how proper language training is vital to national defense efforts.
Poetry shouldn't be some imposing, academic monolith: it should be discussed and enjoyed in homes and classrooms everywhere. The Poetry in America initiative, founded and directed by Lisa New, uses a multimedia approach to make conversations around poetry more accessible.
Pronunciation can be a minefield of silent letters and tricky vowels — and a signal of social hierarchy. But accents and pronunciation also provide endless fodder for jokes. Linguist and author David Crystal discusses diction, accents, social class, and how people from the Victorian era to modern day have found humor in it all.
A new documentary, Talking Black in America, explores African American English through interviews with linguists, speakers, and educators. Walt Wolfram, director of the Language and Life Project and the film's executive producer, discusses the project.