- linguistics July 3
There are some words that seem so modern you can't imagine them being uttered by someone from a different century. Over at The Guardian, David Shariatmadari is shattering that notion with 11 words that are far older than most people thought, including "booze," "crib," and "babe." It's all part of something linguist Arnold Zwicky called "regency illusion," or the "belief that things YOU have noticed only recently are in fact recent."
Take the acronym OMG for example. It wasn't first typed into an AIM window by a 12-year-old, but rather was written in a letter sent to Winston Churchill by Lord Fisher in 1917. "Legit" also sounds positively modern, but can be traced back to an 1897 appearance in the U.S. National Police Gazette: "Bob is envious of Corbett's success as a 'legit.'" Read about the other nine words at The Guardian.- - Catherine Garcia
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The Obama administration's nonstop incoherence on ISIS
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- Why Japan is turning to high-tech floating islands to solve its energy needs
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 super-helpful iOS8 tricks you probably don't know about
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
Subscribe to the Week