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

Geoff Nunberg

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.

[+] read more[-] less

Story Archive

Dimitri Otis/Getty Images

Ironic, Informal And Expressive, 'New Rules Of Language' Evolve Online

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/749946265/752834177" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
LA Johnson/NPR

Opinion: Even A Grammar Geezer Like Me Can Get Used To Gender Neutral Pronouns

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/744121321/748769967" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Computers use algorithms to do everything from adding up a column of figures to resizing a window. iMrSquid/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
iMrSquid/Getty Images

Algorithmic Intelligence Has Gotten So Smart, It's Easy To Forget It's Artificial

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/734034327/736993317" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Thanks to the presidential election, "socialism" and "capitalism" were Merriam-Webster's most-looked-up words of the year in 2012. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Richard Drew/AP

'Socialism' Isn't The Scare Word It Once Was

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/716728643/716802510" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Opinion: Migrant Girl's Death Reveals A Need For More Interpreters Along The Border

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/681942831/681993068" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

President Trump addresses the crowd during a rally in Houston in support of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Oct. 22,. During the rally, he described himself as a "nationalist," and encouraged his supporters to use the word. Loren Elliott/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Loren Elliott/Getty Images

Opinion: 'Nationalist' Arises, With Myriad Connotations, As The Word Of 2018

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/667738326/667878128" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
SpiffyJ/Getty Images

Opinion: A Linguist's Defense Of 'Falsehood'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/645240941/645593062" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Opinion: Why The Term 'Deep State' Speaks To Conspiracy Theorists

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/633019635/637150516" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Christophe Lehenaff/Getty Images/Photononstop RF

Opinion: U.S. And U.K. Remain United, Not Divided, By Their Common Language

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/627325551/629823505" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
CSA Images/Mod Art Collection/Getty Images

So Longhand: Has Cursive Reached The End Of The Line?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/612197167/615851506" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

"However people map out the geography of American political tribes, they always exempt themselves and their neighbors," Geoff Nunberg says. Gary Waters/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Gary Waters/Ikon Images/Getty Images

As Fissures Between Political Camps Grow, 'Tribalism' Emerges As The Word Of 2017

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/568583263/568877337" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An art exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco celebrates 50 years since the famed Summer of Love. Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

50 Years After The Summer Of Love, Hippie Counterculture Is Relegated To Kitsch

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/555139348/555647320" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An 1894 engraving depicts chapter 18 of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

The Enduring Legacy Of Jane Austen's 'Truth Universally Acknowledged'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/538609475/539315286" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
adekvat/Getty Images/iStock

After Years Of Restraint, A Linguist Says 'Yes!' To The Exclamation Point

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/532148705/532792405" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Linguist Geoff Nunberg says that people often use spurious quotations to create a version of Abraham Lincoln that suit a political purpose. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Lincoln Said What? Bogus Quotations Take On A New Life On Social Media

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/528170534/528483560" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript