Topic:Words

"I ought to know better, but I know naught about the difference between aught and nought" is a sentence sure to make more than one head spin. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Usage, Vocabulary, Words
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In the latest installment of the Slate podcast Lexicon Valley, I take on a word that every child knows, orange, and reveal its hidden history. It's a remarkably well-traveled word, and its travels tell us a great deal about the cultural history of many of the world's great civilizations. Continue reading...
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Here is the latest in our series of quick tips on usage and style shared by Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl. This time she answers the question, is it copy editor or copyeditor? Continue reading...
TOPICS: Spelling, Usage, Words
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Stroll through the hipper districts of any American city in 2014 and you may experience the sense of time being slightly out of joint. On shop signs and menus, words that last flourished a couple of centuries ago—or earlier—have been making a comeback. But no word from the distant past is as antique, or as popular in commerce in so many disparate ways, as apothecary. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Naming, Vocabulary, Words
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It's time for the latest in our series of quick tips on usage and style shared by Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl. Here Mignon tackles the question of whether the past-tense form of shine should be shined or shone. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Grammar, Usage, Words
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A few weeks ago I started a regular feature on the Slate podcast Lexicon Valley called LinguaFile, in which I present the hosts with a word and have them try to guess its origins. Last time it was discombobulate, and for this week's episode I went with another one of my favorite words, lagniappe, meaning "a bonus gift (as given to a customer from a merchant)." Continue reading...
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Here is the latest in a series of tips on usage and style shared by Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl. With students returning to school, Mignon asks if they're best described as "anxious" or "eager." Continue reading...
TOPICS: Language, Usage, Words
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