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Check out “A Way With Words”

January 24, 2016


Filed under What's In A Name?

Hello readers. It's been a while. I was abroad last semester in Argentina. Needless to say, I'm excited to get back to blogging. At some point I'm hoping to write about the linguistic points of interest from my time in Argentina.   This morning, I was listening to an episode of "A Way With Words,"...

Whittiom of the Week: “That’s a thing”

Ari Appel

February 24, 2015


Filed under What's In A Name?

Welcome to Whittiom of the Week, where we wonder why we say what we say at Whitman. So what is a whittiom, anyway? You guessed it––it's an idiom that Whitties use frequently. An idiom, put simply, is a commonly spoken phrase that is not meant to be taken literally. For example, the phrase "at the...

Kevin Gates on Slang and Dialect

Ari Appel

January 26, 2015


Filed under What's In A Name?

How can language be used to oppress? Indeed, a very big question with many different answers, all of which a single blog post can't cover. But to start, it could be said that society and its institutions impose a certain way of speaking and writing as "correct usage," alienating those who are not raised...

Heads Up! The Times They Are A Changin’

Ari Appel

January 24, 2015


Filed under What's In A Name?

Hello readers. As this semester begins, I would like to make some changes to this blog. Last semester, I started writing without much of a focus. I knew language would be my topic, but beyond that I had not made many decisions about content or form. My first few posts were short anecdotal pieces, and...

How the spoken “/” is improving English

Ari Appel

November 10, 2014


Filed under BLOGS, What's In A Name?

English is constantly growing and changing. No matter what rules are established, they get broken; conventions of grammar change, new words are invented, and old ones take on new meanings. Take the word "deal," for example. It can be used in many different ways: Ten bucks is not a very good deal, but...

In the Mood for American

Ari Appel

November 2, 2014


Filed under BLOGS, What's In A Name?

What is American cuisine? Hamburgers, apple pie and barbecue are distinctly American. But many other foods that Americans eat, we do not call American. Pizza, for example, is Italian, despite being widely eaten in the US, and prepared differently than it is in Italy. When it comes to food in general,...

A 4-Day Adventure: From Writing This Blog to Not Writing This Blog

Ari Appel

October 17, 2014


Filed under What's In A Name?

After a relaxing 4-day break, Tuesday evening was finally upon me. I wrote this: "When I got out of class on Friday afternoon, I envisioned myself spending the majority of 4-day break at my desk, intently working on blog posts. I sat down and went straight to work. By that evening, I had come up with...

More is More than Less, but No More

Ari Appel

October 11, 2014


Filed under What's In A Name?

I find that people will often evoke adages when they have no specific evidence, so appeals to a common ethos. If the listener genuinely agrees with the cultural value being referenced, there is nothing delusive about this strategy. However, adages can seem to escape the need for evaluation simply because...

Equality through Knowledge

Ari Appel

October 8, 2014


Filed under What's In A Name?

"Over a long period of time, the main force in favor of greater equality has been the diffusion of knowledge and skills." ––Thomas Piketty in Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the most thorough economic study of the history of inequality ever conducted. I am deeply interested in language, but I don't have a ...

Five Bucks

Ari Appel

September 29, 2014


Filed under What's In A Name?

Ari Appel's blog "What's In a Name?" comments on linguistic trends at Whitman College and in public culture at large. A group of middle-schoolers are crowded around a table for school lunch. Jimmy coats his chocolate chip cookie in ketchup and mustard, dribbles on some soy sauce, and then mashes t...

PC spell-check

Ari Appel

September 13, 2014


Filed under What's In A Name?

Ari Appel's blog "What's In a Name?" examines linguistic trends at Whitman College and in public culture at large. "Sorry," my friend said. We had been walking across Ankeny, catching up post-summer, when he said that someone was "black." "African-American," he corrected himself. "I have to ...

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What’s In A Name?