About Me

I'm an author, journalist, and linguist. My latest project, Schwa Fire, a digital publication that produces amazing long-form journalism stories about language and life, has launched. Read my bio

Babel No More

The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners (2012) chronicles my quest to understand the linguistic gifts and mental powers of hyperpolyglots from the past and present.


Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean (2007) explores the science of "uh," "um," slips of the tongue, pauses, the "tip of the tongue" phenomenon, and more.


I'll be at Yale University on January 30, 2015.

Where I’ve been


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Recent Publications

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I consult with businesses, bringing linguistic insights to their research process, strategic internal and external communications, and organizational development.

Contact me for more info.