Short articles on Words and Language

Vivian Cook

These pages bring together some short pieces about words and meaning written for a popular audience from a linguistic perspective.

Does a Megui smell as sweet as a rose?
   (the arbitrariness of meaning)
Is the sea blue or do I just see it as blue?
   (linguistic relativity)
What are dictionaries for? 
   (prescription and description)
What's in a word?
   (professional attitudes to language)
What does a word mean? 
   (semantics, reference, meaning)
Concordancing: finding out about words
   (frequency, corpora)
   (unnecessarily pompous words)
How children learn words
Powerful Pronouns
   (status and respect)
Simplified Vocabulary
   (how does it help?)
Warning: Words can damage your help
   (language and power)
Where do words come from?
   (Indo-European and English)