Language Reports

Millions, Billions and Other Large Numbers

The word billion was not introduced in the French language until the fifteenth century and didn’t find its way into English until the end of the seventeenth century, which is fairly late in the history of counting. What words were used before this time to talk about large numbers?

Mixed drinks

For some, there’s nothing better than a drink to get into the holiday mood. In that spirit, we invite you to start the year by partaking in this intoxicating mix of stories consisting of three words in equal parts: cocktail, punch and grog.

BC and AD, BCE and CE: What’s the Difference?

The Gregorian calendar is the global standard for the measurement of dates. Despite originating in the Western Christian tradition, its use has spread throughout the world and now transcends religious, cultural and linguistic boundaries.

Noble Family

We continue our exploration of noble gases in this month’s edition of Word Stories, looking at two more members of this close-knit family. 

Metaphorical Gender in English: Feminine Boats, Masculine Tools and Neuter Animals

Why are ships frequently referred to as she and her? This question points to the phenomenon of using creative gender assignment on nouns in English. This article will provide an outline of gender in language and the creative use of gender in English.

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