Language is an untamable beast. You can decide that infinitives aren't to be split and that "whom" is the objective form of "who" and that "literally" literally means literally. But here's the thing: Language doesn't have to care one way or the other what nonsense you've decided.
To quote our guest Lane Greene:
Language is not so much logical as it is useful. It is not composed; it is improvised. It is not well behaved; it is resourceful. It is not delicate; it is hardy. It is not threatened; it is self-renewing. It is not perfect. But it is amazing.
Plus: a look at 2018's great innovation and achievements... in swearing.
- Lane Greene - Language columnist and editor at The Economist and the author of Talk on the Wild Side: Why Language Can't Be Tamed (@lanegreene)
- Ben Zimmer - Linguist, lexicographer, and language columnist for The Wall Street Journal (@bgzimmer)
Colin McEnroe contributed to this show.