Geoff Nunberg

Geoff Nunberg is the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

He teaches at the School of Information at the University of California at Berkeley and is the author of The Way We Talk Now, Going Nucular, Talking Right and The Years of Talking Dangerously. His most recent book is Ascent of the A-Word. His website is www.geoffreynunberg.com.

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10:26am

Mon June 25, 2012
Opinion

Taboo Revival: Talking Private Parts In Public Places

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 6:35 am

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Geoff Nunberg is the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air. His new book, Ascent of the A-Word, will be appearing this summer.

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9:54am

Wed May 30, 2012
Commentary

The Word 'Hopefully' Is Here To Stay, Hopefully

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 1:52 pm

The word "hopefully" has been used in thousands of NPR stories.
Stephanie d'Otreppe/NPR

Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.

There was something anticlimactic to the news that the AP Stylebook will no longer be objecting to the use of "hopefully" as a floating sentence adverb, as in, "Hopefully, the Giants will win the division." It was like seeing an obituary for someone you assumed must have died around the time that Hootenanny went off the air.

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9:36am

Tue March 13, 2012
Opinion

Slut: The Other Four Letter S-Word

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 8:12 am

Definition of slut found in dictionary.
NPR

Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.

"My choice of words was not the best," Rush Limbaugh said in his apology. That's the standard formula for these things — you apologize not for what you said but for the way you said it.

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9:49am

Wed December 7, 2011
Commentary

'Occupy': Geoff Nunberg's 2011 Word Of The Year

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 2:04 pm

Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.

If the word of the year is supposed to be an item that has actually shaped the perception of important events, I can't see going with anything but occupy. It was a late entry, but since mid-September it has gone viral and global. Just scan the thousands of hashtags and Facebook pages that begin with the word: Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Slovakia. Occupy Saskatoon, Sesame Street, the Constitution. Occupy the hood.

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9:14am

Tue October 25, 2011
Remembering Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Steve, Myself And i: The Big Story Of A Little Prefix

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 11:39 am

A message honoring Steve Jobs is scrawled on a blacked-out window at an Apple store in Seattle.

Elaine Thompson AP

Steve Jobs did his last product launch last March, for the iPad 2. At the close, he stood in front of a huge picture of a sign showing the intersection of streets called Technology and Liberal Arts.

It was a lifelong ideal for Jobs, the same one that had drawn him to make his famous 1979 visit to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, or Xerox PARC for short. That was where a group of artistically minded researchers had developed the graphical user interface, or GUI, which Apple's developers were to incorporate into the Lisa and the Macintosh a few years later.

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9:08am

Wed September 28, 2011
Opinion

Unlike Most Marxist Jargon, 'Class Warfare' Persists

Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.

"Class warfare" was a dodgy phrase from the outset. In one of the most famous sentences in the history of political thought, Marx and Engels wrote in their 1848 Communist Manifesto: "The history of all society up to now is the history of..."

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9:39am

Wed September 7, 2011
Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001

No Language Legacy: Where's The Sept. 11 Vocab?

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Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.

They were instant cliches, but they needed saying anyway. September 11 was our Pearl Harbor. It would change the way we think and create a new normal. It defined a generation. And from the beginning, people looked to the language to bear witness to how utterly differently we were seeing the world.

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