From The Washington Post
By Matt Schudel
Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist whose early work examined punctuation and computer languages but who was better known for his books and NPR commentaries that explored the political implications of words, as well as the truths, lies and endless mysteries found in how we express ourselves, died Aug. 11 at his home in San Francisco. He was 75.
He had glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, said his sister, Barbara Nunberg.
Dr. Nunberg’s day jobs were in academia and in a Silicon Valley think tank, but his deepest preoccupation was in understanding how human beings communicate through words, from slang and vulgar slurs to political messaging and professional jargon. (The jargon of linguists, he noted with some embarrassment, refers to words as “lexical items.”)