Islamic Fatwas, Grammatical Gender, and Translation—Or Beware of Those...

Oct 26, 2014 by

[This post was originally posted in December 2013] A recent report in India Today mentions a fatwa (Muslim religious decree) issued by a cleric associated with the Muslim Brotherhood to prohibit women from swimming in the sea. The...

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What Gender is Your Country?

Oct 26, 2014 by

[This post was originally published in November 2013] I am often asked by my students why countries receive masculine or feminine names in languages that make a grammatical gender distinction. For example, why is Portugal masculine in...

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Do “Native Americans and Russians share the same language”?

Oct 26, 2014 by

[This post was originally published in March 2014] I have often criticized the mainstream media for its gross misrepresentations of current linguistic research, with headlines such as “English Language ‘Originated in Turkey’”,...

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U.S. Electoral Geography: An Urban/Rural Divide?

Oct 26, 2014 by

[This post was originally published in November 2012] As noted in a GeoCurrents post, most states remain more “purple” than “red” or “blue”, whereas on the county level the situation is quite different, with...

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A Fracas in Caracas—Maduro Wins the Election but Capriles Refuses to C...

Oct 26, 2014 by

[This post was originally published in April 2013] Following the death of President Hugo Chávez on 5 March 2013—coincidentally the 60th anniversary of Joseph Stalin’s death—Venezuela held a presidential election on 14 April....

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A Striking New Map of Endangered Languages

Oct 26, 2014 by

[This post was originally published in April 2013] A striking map depicting endangered languages around the world can be found at the website of the Endangered Languages Project (ELP), the public portal of the Endangered Languages...

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A Surprising Map of The Countries That Are Most and Least Welcoming to...

Oct 26, 2014 by

[This post was originally published in March 2013] At the Washington Post, Max Fisher has created an interesting map, reposted on the left, depicting how welcoming different countries are to foreigners. This map is based on figures...

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