Official secrecy and institutional rivalry obscured the achievements of two crash programmes hastily launched to teach Japanese during the Second World War.
How the index helps us to understand, categorise and engage with the world.
The hidden meaning of a medieval pen-twister.
Believing language would unify their struggling nation, Chinese officials began a project to create a national language and define what it meant to speak Chinese.
What to do when a good joke becomes bad taste.
A Dutch conspiracy trial in the Indonesian archipelago gave birth to a sadly enduring English word.
What does it mean to speak gobbledygook, mumbo-jumbo or jargon? Such words are more fraught than the playful games of the Jabberwocky suggest.
In Anglo-Saxon England a hill could be a dragon’s lair and a ditch the home of gods.
The past and future of punctuation marks.
Writing treaties in two languages can lead to unexpected problems.