Language is a strange thing. We use it every day, but we often forget it’s there; it’s easy to learn as a child, but fiendishly difficult as an adult; and, for reasons that are hard to define, certain words can evoke strong emotions or even downright offend.
Below, 5 TEDx Talks (and one TED Talk!) on the wonders of language and linguistics, from the secret life of pronouns to why we’re so offended by curse words.
John McWhorter: Txtng is killing language. JK!!! Since its invention, many people have railed against the rise of “txt spk,” believing its use will eventually lead to the demise of English. John McWhorter begs to differ. At TED2013, he explains that texting is merely a new dialect of English and that we should rest assured that the language we speak isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.