Standards appear as legal or quasi-legal rules and relate to a variety of topics, including product or service quality, information security, environmental performance, health and safety in the workplace, and many more. Much has been written, or rather suspected, about corporate cultures of companies where standards were broken terribly.
Symptoms of the looming climate crisis abound: 50-year extreme heat events happening every year, melting of polar ice sheets, forest fires that encircle the globe, tropical cyclones of greater size, intensity and, as was very evident in Ida’s recent visit to New York, unprecedented levels of precipitation.
Government in any form exercises power over those it governs. In a democracy, this power is shared among equals who disagree over how power should be used. When democracy enacts policy, some citizens are forced to comply. How can one be subjected to political power without thereby being subordinated by it?
Winter is round the corner, and the best way to prepare for it is to read a few murky stories about the etymology of the relevant words: “ice” and “snow.”
Fannie Lou Hamer was a galvanizing force of the Civil Rights movement, using her voice to advance voting rights and representation for Black Americans throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Faced with eviction, arrests, and abuse at the hands of white doctors, policemen, and others, Hamer stayed true to her faith and her conviction in non-violent […]
We are delighted to announce the OUP published titles that have been presented with awards at this year’s British Medical Association Medical Book Awards.
In this blog post, the Oxford Etymologist tackles questions from readers.
Take a virtual tour of three of America’s national parks: the Grand Canyon, Zion Canyon, and Bryce Canyon, to get a complete picture of the West’s geology and landscape.
According to the early Greek poet Hesiod (ca. 700 BC), the primordial human community consisted only of men, who lived lives of health and ease, enjoying a neighborly relationship with the gods. That relationship soured, however, after Prometheus deceived the Olympian gods for the benefit of mankind. In retaliation, Zeus schemed to punish men by […]
Coping with a global pandemic has laid bare the need for public trust in science. And there is good news and bad news when it comes to how likely the public is to trust science. Our work over the past ten years reveals that the public trusts science and that religious people seem to trust science as much as non-religious people. Yet, public trust in scientists as a people group is eroding in dangerous ways. And for certain groups who are particularly unlikely to trust scientists, the belief that all scientists are loud, anti-religious atheists is a part of their distrust.
When we think about the origins of property, we naturally, like Jean-Jacque Rousseau, think of land, of “the first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying ‘This is mine,’ and found people simple enough to believe him.”
Why is searching for the origin of “ice” a forlorn hope? Because all the Germanic-speaking people had the same word for “ice,” and yet we don’t know where it came from.
Romans sometimes worried that you couldn’t tell enslaved and free people apart. By the second century CE, many senators were descended from Gauls and Iberians, Carthaginians, Greeks, and Syrians—the very peoples Romans had conquered as they extended their empire. So, was the Roman empire unusually inclusive? Or even a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic civilization? None of that seems very likely.
The Kamloops Indian Residential School was part of a systematic Indigenous youth educational effort in Canada, with comparable projects in the United States, the purpose and intent of which is hotly debated today.
From a psychological perspective, entitlement refers to one’s sense of deservingness. Entitled people believe they deserve more than others. For entitled white people, the latest Census data triggers panic at being replaced by those who have historically been on the margins.
In this blog post, the Oxford Etymologist discusses two slang idioms: “worth a Jew’s eye” and “to save one’s bacon”.