Blog Excerpts

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Isn't "Don" is that guy from accounting? Does "gay apparel" mean I think it does? And what are the cattle doing again? Just in time for Christmas, clear up carol confusion. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Fun, Language, Vocabulary
For Jane Austen's 238th birthday, read lexicographer Orin Hargraves on words Austen is cited for first having used. Then check out vocabulary lists from her novels. Continue reading...
In a piece out in The Atlantic today, "The Case for SAT Words: High-schoolers should know what 'unscrupulous' means," journalist and SAT tutor James S. Murphy quotes Vocabulary.com head of curriculum development Georgia Scurletis and executive producer Ben Zimmer. Continue reading...
In a piece in The Atlantic last month, writer Mark Bowden recounts reading a book of military history filled with so many unusual words he was forced to consult a dictionary at least ten times. The experience made him ponder the balance between prose that's clear and easy to understand, and the enjoyment of using and reading the occasional rare and therefore "spicy" word. Continue reading...

Freshman? Freshperson? Frosh? First-Year?

Despite the successful efforts of nonsexist language reform, the word "freshman" persists on college campuses. On the Chronicle of Higher Education's Lingua Franca blog, University of Michigan English professor Anne Curzan considers why this is and weighs the alternatives. Read her article here.
TOPICS: Language, Usage, Words
In case you haven't heard, today is "Cyber Monday," the day that retailers have decided we should all be flocking to make online purchases for our holiday gift list. Last year, Ben Zimmer explained how the advent of "Black Friday" led to the branding of "Cyber Monday" and other days in the Holy Week of shopping. Continue reading...
On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, Americans kick off the holiday shopping season with a bang. We look back to a Word Routes column by lexicographer Ben Zimmer exploring the origins of the phrase "Black Friday." It is not, as many believe, the day when retailers' balance sheets change from red to black. Continue reading...
2 3 4 5 6 Displaying 22-28 of 176 Articles