Dr. Goodword’s Language Blog

Welcome to Dr. Goodword’s Blog!

Dr. Goodword contemplates a Good WordWelcome to the blog of Dr. Goodword, as I call myself on this website. The person behind Dr. Goodword is me, Robert Beard, the guy over there on the left. Yes, I am a real doctor and my specialty is language (PhD Linguistics). For 35 years I taught language and linguistics at Bucknell University, where I conducted research in the behavior of words, developing a theory of their behavior called Lexeme-Morpheme-Base Morphology (LMBM). You can google “robert beard language” and find out more about what I’ve spent my life doing. 

Now I run The Lexiteria and its popular website,, writing about a much broader range of linguistic phenomena from my perspective as a morphologist. I started with a website called A Web of Online Dictionaries at Bucknell in 1995 which grew up to become alphaDictionary. Since 1995 I have answered around 25,000 email inquiries and comments about words and language, many of them the same. I am hoping here to expand my forum so that the daily questions I deal with need only be answered once. I will also include unelicited mutterings about language issues that cross my mind from time to time.

Others from the alphaDictionary staff as well as invited guests will also contribute to this blog. Please feel free to comment on anything you read here that tweaks your interest. The focus will vary little, however; our intent is to bring the insights of linguistics (the scientific study of language) to bear on questions of language that arise in our lives every day and do so in such a way that those without linguistic training can understand. 

I think this is enough for today. Over the course of next week I want to back up and touch on some language issues that have occurred recently, before we could get this blog going, such as the use of a German word to stump a finalist in an English spelling bee and the conversion of Google to a common verb, to google, by a process known in linguistics as commonization). Until then, pass the word along that a new commentary on language has arrived in the blogosphere.



6 Responses to “Welcome to Dr. Goodword’s Blog!”

  1. Stargzer Says:

    Some may remember this view of Dr. Goodword!

  2. Lee Smith Says:

    Hey! I was just reading with much enjoyment your “A Glossary of Quaint Southernisms” and it brought to mind an expression that is missing from your list. It is ” ’bout to monkey”. I have never heard it explicitly defined but I infer from contextual cues that it means someone is in imminent danger of overheating and suffering a collapse or some other extreme reaction. It is always used in the context of being extremely hot.

    I first heard the expression when my family moved to the Sandhills region of South Carolina in 1970. I have never heard it outside this area in 36 years.

    Out of curisity, i Googled it today and came up with this link:

    where it is indeed used correctly.

    Do you have any information about this expression?

    Have a goodun!

    – Lee Smith

  3. rbeard Says:

    This is an expression I have never heard and cannot find any information on it.

  4. John Buckley Says:

    to quote your intro:
    “The person behind Dr. Goodword is me, Robert Beard, ”

    Me is Robert Beard ? UGH.
    Me is “Pieta Sa Pope”, – Blackfoot for “Eagle Plume”

    GRAMMAR TO GO – can’t be too proud of your grammar !?

  5. bremer Says:

    this guy is fascinating…took his course for an easy A and found it to be one of the most challenging of my load…its all about the velars.


    GOOD MORNING: I just came across your site. My Wife is
    Peggy Beard. Her parents were Jennings & Ruth Beard. She grew up Half mile from BEARD. When I arrived there in 1948 the community was mostly made up of Beards and McLaurins. Now there are few of either still there. Also there was a large black population, now mostly gone. I enjoy your postings.

    Regards Charles Adamson

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