Skip to main content
Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Word Evolution: Language Change Across Time – Virtual Presentation by Stewart Edelstein

Event Categories:

Join Stewart Edelstein for an entertaining one-hour (including Q&A) exploration of language change over the past six decades, featuring scores of images. We’ll start with a nostalgic look back to the world of the 1960s, then see how words have been repurposed for our tech world, and delve into retronyms, neologisms, nonce words, and the decade-by-decade evolution of language to the present day, including COVID-10 lingo. Among other surprising facts, learn why the most memorable word from Mary Poppins was the subject of litigation, why “spam” for junk email is based on a Monty Python skit, and why “Google” for the search engine is the result of a typo.
Stewart Edelstein is the author of four books, including Dubious Doublets, about unlikely word pairs of common origin, and The COVID-19 Zeitgeist: Fifty Essays, an etymological exploration of pandemic-related words, which is available for purchase ($10.00) as a fundraiser for the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives. He has twice been a guest wordsmith for Anu Garg’s A Word A Day (, and has created word games for Merriam-Webster ( He has taught several popular OLLI courses on etymology, and will teach another this June (via Zoom), In A Pickle? Discover the Stories Behind Common Idioms.