Anthropology / Everything Human

The Power of the Dictionary

Language

  • Expressions

    dictionary prejudice

    The Power of the Dictionary

    Dictionaries are typically viewed as being value-neutral. But they are just as steeped in culture and prejudice as the rest of the world—and they have the power to shape what we see as “normal.”

  • "Race"

  • Crossroads

  • Viewpoint

    In Mexico City, critics created a piñata in response to Donald Trump’s claims that many Mexican immigrants to the United States bring drugs and crime, and that many are rapists. Such rhetoric has put the Republican party in a political and moral bind.

    Trump’s Tactics and Republican Speechlessness

    Donald Trump has combined party politics and a familiar nationalist script with a uniquely American interpretation of free speech. The result is a racist rhetoric that has been frighteningly hard to stop.

  • Wanderers

    In October 2015, Russian scientists began Moon-2015, a simulated mission to the moon and back.

    Unmanning Space Language

    Language matters, as demonstrated by the recent discussion following the discovery of example sentences using sexist stereotypes in the Oxford Dictionary of English. Language about who goes into space also matters, both historically and again now as more people are on the International Space Station for longer-duration missions, and NASA, SpaceX, and others plan to send humans to Mars. When journalists write about a spacecraft, they often use …

  • Decoded

    Talking Hands

    Five women elders from remote Western Australia share the joys and meanings of Aboriginal sign language.