Topic:Vocabulary

In a review of FX's Cold War-era thriller "The Americans," which begins its third season tonight, New York Times critic Alessandra Stanley expects her readers to know what she means by the term tradecraft. Though many believe this to be a term invented by John le Carré, it's been in use by spies since the 1950s at least. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Vocabulary
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Language allows us to communicate the ideas in our heads with other people. It is a main way we connect with the world around us. Because of that, language becomes very personal to each user. We form affinities for individual words because of what they mean to us. Continue reading...
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Six years running, the logophiles at Wayne State University, a.k.a. the Wayne State Word Warriors, have curated a crowd-sourced list of rare words that "deserve a bit more love." These are words that used to be commonly known and are still useful, but have started to drop out of the English lexicon. Wayne State Warriors' mission? To bring them back. Continue reading...
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The American Dialect Society made its 25th annual selection for Word of the Year, and for the first time the winner was actually a Twitter hashtag: #blacklivesmatter. Even though the socially conscious slogan is formed by combining three words, as a hashtag it was converted into something linguistically innovative, attracting the attention of the assorted language scholars who gathered for the vote at the society's annual meeting in Portland, Oregon. Continue reading...
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Greetings from Portland, Oregon, where the American Dialect Society is holding its annual conference. On Thursday, in my capacity as chair of the society's New Words Committee, I presided over the nominating session for various categories in our Word of the Year selection Continue reading...
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It's that time of year -- when you vow to do better in all things and yet, even as you solemnly swear, you know most of us will abandon our resolutions early on in the coming year. The good news? You're here on Vocabulary.com, which is designed to transform your current resolution into a word learning habit that affects the way you speak, read, write, and think. Here's how we make your resolution stick. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Students, Vocabulary
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It's time once again for the annual look back at the noteworthy words of the past year. Did you indulge in any manspreading or Columbusing this year? Were you concerned about dark money or plastigomerate? Here's a veritable vortex of words that rose to prominence in 2014. Continue reading...
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