Topic:Vocabulary

Educators love to talk about how important vocabulary is, but they are often at wits' end trying to figure out how to teach it effectively. Despite the overwhelming evidence that vocabulary knowledge matters to students' reading comprehension and overall achievement in school, it is rare that you will find schools or school districts implementing systematic vocabulary instruction. Continue reading...
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Recently a math teacher and Facebook friend of Vocabulary.com posted to her Facebook page: Would you rather take a "quiz," "diagnostic," "test," or "evaluation?" Responses to the post were clear. Everyone would rather take a quiz. A quick look at the blurbs for these words on the Vocabulary.com website explains why. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Usage, Vocabulary, Words
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There has been a lot of hubbub over the last few months about states defecting from the original group of 45 states that had adopted the Common Core State Standards. But how different are the state standards that have diverged from the Common Core when it comes to the teaching of vocabulary? Continue reading...
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Adding to our collection of Beatles linguistic analysis (we've written about the iconic band's pronouns, nonsense sounds, and gear language) and in a manner reminiscent of recent analysis of rappers' vocabularies, the Liverpool Echo has conducted a vocabulary survey of British pop music, and concluded that the Beatles "have one of the smallest vocabularies in pop music." Continue reading...
TOPICS: Fun, Language, Vocabulary
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Anyone familiar with the children's movie Despicable Me 2 will not be surprised to hear that use of minion among children has grown by 250 percent in the last year. Similarly, kids who play Minecraft are not immune to the charms of unusual vocabulary ocelot, nether and spawn as never before. Does this mean screen time might actually be good for vocab? Continue reading...
TOPICS: Fun, Vocabulary
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Blog Excerpts

The 2014 Spelling Bee Is Here!

It's time once again for the Scripps National Spelling Bee! The preliminaries are today, and the nationally televised semifinals and finals are tomorrow (May 29). As in past years, our own Ben Zimmer will be live-tweeting the competition from the @VocabularyCom Twitter account and reporting on the results here in his Word Routes column. In the meantime, catch up on our coverage of the format changes introduced last year that brought vocabulary questions into the mix: here and here.
TOPICS: Fun, Spelling, Vocabulary
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In a Washington Post review of a recent performance by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Robert Battey used the word velleity. Once you know what it means you may find yourself dropping it into everyday speech, but for one reader, learning new words is not what the news should be all about. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Vocabulary
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