Geoff Nunberg

Linguist/Commentator, Fresh Air

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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Is the English spelling system irrational? Gary Waters/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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Changes To French Spelling Make Us Wonder: Why Is English So Weird?
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Everyone Uses Singular 'They,' Whether They Realize It Or Not
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Linguist Geoff Nunberg notes that while workers in today's "gig economy" may have more freedom than they had in years past, they also have less security. Hong Li/Getty Images hide caption

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Goodbye Jobs, Hello 'Gigs': How One Word Sums Up A New Economic Reality
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Are people starting sentences with "so" more frequently than ever or are we just noticing it more? Leigh Wells/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

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So, What's The Big Deal With Starting A Sentence With 'So'?
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has promised to "tell it like it is" during his presidential campaign. Mel Evans/AP hide caption

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Tracing The Origin Of The Campaign Promise To 'Tell It Like It Is'
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Nathan J. Marcisz of Marion, Ind., focuses intently as he spells a word during the 2010 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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What's A Thamakau? Spelling Bee Is More About Entertainment Than English
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Martin Starr plays software designer Gilfoyle in the HBO comedy Silicon Valley. In the show's new season, Gilfoyle and his fellow techies attend a startup competition named "Disrupt." Frank Masi/HBO hide caption

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From TED Talks To Taco Bell, Abuzz With Silicon Valley-Style 'Disruption'
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Bryan Henderson, who goes by Giraffedata, has written a 6,000-word essay on his Wikipedia user page explaining why he thinks "comprised of" is an egregious error. iStock hide caption

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Don't You Dare Use 'Comprised Of' On Wikipedia: One Editor Will Take It Out
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Geoffrey Nunberg says technology makes it seem as if we're always being watched, which is creepy. Ralf Hirschberger/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Feeling Watched? 'God View' Is Geoff Nunberg's Word Of The Year
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Workers walk on a giant presidential election map of the U.S. made of ice in the skating rink at Rockefeller Center in 2004. The media still use "red" and "blue when talking about the electoral map, but not for a deep cultural divide. Kathy Willens/AP hide caption

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The Language That Divides America: From Red And Blue To Percents
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Do Feelings Compute? If Not, The Turing Test Doesn't Mean Much
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150 Years After Marx, 'Capital' Still Can't Shake Loose Of 'Das Kapital'
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Protesters in San Francisco block a Google bus, which shuttles employees from the city to its location in Silicon Valley. cjmartin/Flickr hide caption

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Hackers? Techies? What To Call San Francisco's Newcomers
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Decades ago, the SAT test was seen as a measure of raw ability, not as something students ought to cram for. Now, test prep is a huge industry. Linguist Geoff Nunberg wonders what exactly students learn when they're flipping through vocabulary flashcards. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

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Sorry Assiduous (adj.) SAT-Takers, Linguist In Dudgeon (n.) Over Vocab Flashcards
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