Q&A

You asked and we answered. Many of you have questions for our resident language expert and so — for paid subscribers only — please enjoy our biweekly Q&A with Columbia University linguist and Lexicon Valley host John McWhorter. Please ask questions in the comments to help make we keep him well-stocked with wonderful queries, from grammar to etymology to really anything at all that strikes you as even tangentially related to language and how we use it.

The short answer is that it didn't.
3
1
Also, Professor McWhorter on his favorite dinosaur.
1
1
Also, will standardized tests ever except nonstandard grammar?
3
1
The verbing of access became widespread only in about the 1970s, and now it's ubiquitous.
3
1
Also, is Chomsky's "Universal Grammar" still a thing?
4
1
Also, do French words change pronunciation more quickly among native French speakers?
Also, how do you pronounce "often" anyway?
2
See all