As English speakers, we have a plethora of epithets at our disposal available to hurl at those whom we reproach. But linguist Geoffrey Nunberg says these days, there's one word that has come to take center stage in the world of name-calling. In his new book, "Ascent of the A-Word," Nunberg traces the history of the word -- and the personality type.
PLEASE NOTE: if you want to know what the "A-word" is please click on the above link, but please don't use the word in your comment, since it violates our community guidelines. Thanks for your understanding! -- Forum producer
Geoffrey Nunberg, adjunct professor at UC Berkeley's School of Information, commentator on language for NPR's "Fresh Air" and former chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary