logo

english

  • DeadObies group headshot hero

    Is Multilingual Rap Eroding Canada’s French Language?

    Recently a Quebec arts foundation required the Francophone rap group Dead Obies to give back an $18,000 grant they’d been awarded to record their newest album. The problem? A word count determined that the group had stirred too much English into their distinctive multilingual lyrics, falling short of the rule that 70 percent of the […]

  • Bayeux Tapestry hero

    The Word “Million” Didn’t Exist Until We Needed It

    I would cut off my right hand if you find it.” That was the guarantee retired Columbia history lecturer Jens Ulff-Møller made that there was no word for “million” in Old English, a medieval predecessor of the language you’re currently reading. Some Anglo-Saxon writers understood the idea of a million, and they had a term for it: a “thousand […]