VOCABULARY.COM BLOG

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
East Coast residents (outside of New England) might have been a bit underwhelmed by the blizzard-that-wasn't known as "Winter Storm Juno." While this "junior" storm has fallen short of the hyped-up expectations, it's still interesting to consider how it achieved named status in the first place. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Media, Naming, Words
Over the last week, I have exercised on an elliptical trainer that had a SmartRate heart monitor; watched movies on a smart TV; applied a product called Smart Serum to my face; and checked messages on a smartphone that has Smart Stay, Smart Pause, and Smart Scroll functions. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Branding, Naming, Words
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...
The cold temperatures outside are nothing compared to the chill of a social freeze. Whether it's in a school, office, or neighborhood, the feeling of getting frozen out of a group or a relationship is a feeling so dreadful most of us avoid it at all costs. But it lives large enough in our imaginations that our collective vocabulary is filled with words to describe it. Continue reading...
HuffPost Live hosted a chat about the uncertain future of dictionaries in the digital era. Among the panelists was our own Ben Zimmer, who talked about how the move away from the printed page opens up exciting new possibilities for what a dictionary can do. Continue reading...
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...
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and prepare for Black History Month in February with a plethora of vocabulary learning resources found on Vocabulary.com. Continue reading...
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