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

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has promised to "tell it like it is" during his presidential campaign. Mel Evans/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Mel Evans/AP

Tracing The Origin Of The Campaign Promise To 'Tell It Like It Is'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/423194262/423254700" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption
Alex Wong/Getty Images

What's A Thamakau? Spelling Bee Is More About Entertainment Than English

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/413645991/413678499" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption
Frank Masi/HBO

From TED Talks To Taco Bell, Abuzz With Silicon Valley-Style 'Disruption'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/401718974/402584463" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption
iStock

Don't You Dare Use 'Comprised Of' On Wikipedia: One Editor Will Take It Out

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/392568604/392585494" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Geoffrey Nunberg says technology makes it seem as if we're always being watched, which is creepy. Ralf Hirschberger/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Ralf Hirschberger/AFP/Getty Images

Feeling Watched? 'God View' Is Geoff Nunberg's Word Of The Year

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/369740829/369887404" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption
Kathy Willens/AP

The Language That Divides America: From Red And Blue To Percents

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/354594644/354638871" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Vertigo3d/iStockphoto

Do Feelings Compute? If Not, The Turing Test Doesn't Mean Much

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/323984864/327366883" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

150 Years After Marx, 'Capital' Still Can't Shake Loose Of 'Das Kapital'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/316323356/316348204" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Protesters in San Francisco block a Google bus, which shuttles employees from the city to its location in Silicon Valley. cjmartin/Flickr hide caption

toggle caption
cjmartin/Flickr

Hackers? Techies? What To Call San Francisco's Newcomers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/263088398/263108948" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption
Mario Tama/Getty Images

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

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/256570578/256603192" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron pose for a "selfie" with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela. Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

Narcissistic Or Not, 'Selfie' Is Nunberg's Word Of The Year

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/255294091/255546620" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., talks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 3. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Was Rand Paul's Plagiarism Dishonest Or A Breach Of Good Form?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/244760001/244791579" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Scott Gries/Scott Gries/Invision/AP

The Internet's 'Twerk' Effect Makes Dictionaries Less Complete

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/221707027/221741981" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A conference attendee tries Google Glass during the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco in May. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Bracing For Google Glass: An In-Your-Face Technology

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/209175015/209202330" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Andrey Kuzmin/iStockphoto.com

Calling It 'Metadata' Doesn't Make Surveillance Less Intrusive

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/193578367/193954334" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript