language

Classic Episode: Hey, Ladies!

The word "lady" has undergone a reclamation of sorts in recent years, but it still carries a lot of baggage, thanks to its gender-loaded etymology. Cristen and Caroline get down to the history, use and varying meanings of what it means to be a "lady" today.

Sexist Emoji?

Emoji are revolutionizing the way we communicate while also communicating gender stereotypes about women. Cristen and Caroline decode the gendered patterns of emoji use and why some think they don't speak loudly enough for girls and women.

Vocal Fry in the Workplace

Victorian-Era Vagina Slang

The Curse of Swearing Women

Swearing and use of profanity is has long been a considered a masculine habit, while women are the "experts of euphemism." Cristen and Caroline unpack the sociolinguistic danger of women swearing and whether the profanity gender gap is closing at home and in the workplace.

Lean In + SMNTY: Why is "bossy" a bad word?

In her hilarious and insightful memoir "Bossypants," Tina Fey shares how people demonstrate a peculiar befuddlement with her professional authority. She writes: "Ever since I became an executive producer of '30 Rock,' people have asked me ... 'Is it uncomfortable for you to be the person in charge?' You know, in the same way they say, 'Gosh, Mr. Trump, is it awkward for you to be the boss of all these people?" And of course people might assume that Fey is "uncomfortable" being the boss because that title doesn't often attract many kindly descriptors if you're a woman.

What is vocal fry and why is everyone talking about it? Join Caroline and Cristen as they explore valley girls and uptalk, ultimately asking why younger women are the linguistic trendsetters.

What are the most commonly banned books? In this episode, Cristen and Caroline read between the (banned) lines of history, from a legal timeline of book banning to the primary reasons books are banned in the first place: sex, language and the occult.

In this episode, Cristen and Caroline interview Mignon Fogarty, aka Grammar Girl. Listen in to learn if men and women pay attention to grammar differently, and if it's acceptable to refer to women as girls.

Men Use More Emoticons When Talking to Women

A recent study of gendered language on Twitter got me thinking about emoticons. The analysis out of Scotland found that women's tweets tend to be more emotive than men's, riddled with "haha," hehe, "omg" and "yay." And -- just to really cement the gender stereotypes here -- "chocolate."