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

Geoff Nunberg

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
Gary Waters/Ikon Images/Getty Images

'Normal': The Word Of The Year (In A Year That Was Anything But)

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/506451640/506609833" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Linguist Geoff Nunberg argues that the media's decision to bleep or otherwise block out a particular word can result in concealing information the public needs to know. dane_mark/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
dane_mark/Getty Images

Not Fit To Print? When Politicians Talk Dirty, Media Scramble To Sanitize

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/498842384/499321077" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript