Around the Web: Letters, Dudes and Glitches


Baby names seem to be perennially interesting, if only because we are all anxious about what our names say about us or how the names of our children will impact their lives. This week a map that shows shifts in the popularity of female baby names in the US over the last 60 years went viral, and a list of 28 baby names that are on the rise reminded us that names are only getting weirder. (For a historical perspective and to look up the popularity of your own name, head to the Social Security Administration.)

Here’s our new favorite language game of the week: Can you recognize these languages?

Can letter writing survive? Even if letter-writing is declining, the sentiments contained in them persist in social media.

The word dude turns 130 this year. (Back in 1883 it meant a “tight-trousered, brief-coated, eye-glassed, fancy-vested, sharp-toes shod, vapid youth who abounds in the Metropolis at present.”)


Twenty years of dumb new words that died.

The letter Q was outlawed in Turkey for almost a century.

A handy-dandy complete history of publishing.

And what’s a glitch anyway?

Predictions for next week’s language news:

A new Halloween-related portmanteau will stress out bibliophiles everywhere, and someone will get mad about the misuse of an apostrophe–again.

Check out last week’s news including dying alphabets and unusable words.


  1. Jarod -  December 11, 2013 - 11:09 am

    I wish I was a baby again.

  2. mikel -  October 28, 2013 - 5:53 pm

    thats cute

  3. Afnan Linjawi -  October 28, 2013 - 12:36 pm

    Funny how we completely under-value the words we utter, dudes!

  4. Alison Thomas -  October 26, 2013 - 8:29 am

    I love creative writing and most of all its component parts that are individual words This is a great site for firing my imagination and making me think, I look forward to my daily fix and todays favourite item was the language quiz. It made me “tune in” and surprised me with the answers. Long may the site continue.


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