VOCABULARY.COM BLOG

Ever since College Board President David Coleman announced that the redesigned SAT would replace its testing of more obscure words such as mendacious or treacly with the analysis of more frequent, multiple-meaning words in context, educators have been fretting about what this may mean for the study of vocabulary and for the precision of the next generation of American students' English in general. Continue reading...
Talking about the Pulitzer Prizes awarded this week? Make sure you're up on these ten words. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Vocabulary
Although the hero of Richard Wright's classic tale of the African American experience has a hard time coming up with words, Wright never falters. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Vocabulary

Blog Excerpts

"Staycation," "Bleisure," and Other Made-Up Travel Words

Is the travel industry particularly susceptible to making up words like "bleisure" (combining "business" and "leisure") and "staycation" (for a stay-at-home vacation)? Associated Press travel reporter Beth J. Harpaz investigates — with help from our own Ben Zimmer, who says that such neologisms "come in handy in a business sector where there's often a need to come up with clever marketing spin." Read the AP article here.
TOPICS: Marketing, Usage, Words
There's a difference between wearing a style and owning it. For learners of English and even those born into it, using a word has a lot to do with feeling that it "belongs to me." Continue reading...
In spite of the fact that the Harry Potter series is often embarked on by children in the youngest elementary school grades, the series is a treasure trove of sophisticated, SAT-worthy vocabulary. Dirigible as it appears in the Potterverse, is a word you're likely not soon to forget. Continue reading...

Blog Excerpts

Scrabble Showdown: "Zen" Versus... "Geocache"?

In Hasbro's "Scrabble Word Showdown," fans of the game have been narrowing down candidates for a new word to include the game's soon-to-be-revised official dictionary. Two finalists are left standing: zen (which many Scrabblers have been requesting), and... geocache, the recipient of a big get-out-the-vote effort by fans of the high-tech treasure hunt known as "geocaching." See the latest from Hasbro here, and read Caitlin Dewey's take in the Washington Post here. Update: And the winner is... geocache!
TOPICS: Dictionaries, Fun, Words
In a segment that aired last night on Bloomberg TV, Vocabulary.com executive producer and lexicographer Ben Zimmer appeared on Pimm Fox's "Taking Stock" on Bloomberg TV, describing the adaptive learning power of Vocabulary.com and the Vocabulary.com App, and quizzing Pimm on some of the some super-challenging vocabulary players with advanced vocabularies might encounter. Continue reading...
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