Heather Keagan

Hep to the Step, Hep to the Lingo: What is Jive?

Language can define a generation; just look at the effect the internet, with sites like Tumblr, Vine, and Reddit, has had on the way we speak today. Groovy vernacular was common in the 60s, while the 80s was rad,  perhaps even tubular. What about the age of jazz during the 30s and the 40s? Whaddya(…)


Your Survival Guide to Italian When in Italy

  Maybe you’re planning a trip to Italy or you’ve met an attractive Italian-speaking someone and you want to sweep them off their feet. Perhaps you have an amazing restaurant in Little Italy you want to visit or your Nona is visiting from the old country and you can’t speak a word to her. Regardless(…)


The Election in Words: How Linguistics Played an Important Role Between Hillary and Trump

Words hold power, and anyone who has been called a name on a school yard, or branded by their peers as different, will know that words can sometimes cut to the core. Words can grant freedom, make people feel loved, ensure a nation’s security, or they can be used to demoralize and tear people apart.(…)


Cracking the Uncrackable: The Voynich Manuscript

Do you like puzzles? Are you a master at finding patterns? How are your cryptography skills? Confused as to why we’re asking you this? Tired of questions? Take a look at the picture above. Really, take a look at it. Click on it to zoom in on it (or use CTRL + or -). Give(…)


Top Tips to Keep Your Peruvian Travels Safe

So you’re headed to Peru. Your friends are jealous, your family may be a little worried for no reason, and you could not possibly be more excited. Now I’m sure you’ve created packing lists, itineraries of things to see, and there must be a bevy of stuff you want to eat and drink while you’re(…)


British vs. American: The Battle of the Dialects

Might you be from the UK or United States and ever wonder what the differences between American English and British English are? Well, aside from that whole accent thing and spelling, believe it or not verb usage and vocabulary vary quite a bit. As you know, with language variation, we’re here to break down some(…)


How to Make Your English Sound More Natural

Learning English is incredibly difficult, which is something non-native speakers of English don’t always understand. The English language is insane, with rules that almost always have exceptions, homophones, homonyms, gerunds, and a ton of other things that make the language incredibly tricky to speak with native proficiency. So what’s an English language learner to do?(…)


Uniquely Canadian French Idioms

Maybe you’ve heard that Canada officially has two languages: English and French. Maybe you’ve heard that Canada is a bilingual country. Maybe you’ve heard that the majority of its residents are able to speak both English and French fluently. While the French language in Canada and Francophone culture does have quite a bit of depth to(…)


The Art of Body Language: Donald Trump Edition

  Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere for the past year or so, you will be very familiar with Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign and all the ludicrous comments, antagonistic viewpoints, and of course the promise of a ‘wall’ that has been spouting. A naturally charismatic and easily influential speaker, Trump has garnered more(…)


Up-close on Canada: An Introduction to Aboriginal Languages

There are over 60 Aboriginal languages in Canada. What do you know about them? Did you know, that only a little over 200,000 people in Canada speak an Aboriginal Language as their mother tongue? You’d be hard-pressed to find many people in Canada who even know these languages exist let alone their wide variety, interesting grammatical structure,(…)