VOCABULARY.COM BLOG

Writing about the relationship between Russia and the Ukraine this past year, Steve Forbes has taken to using the somewhat rare word satrap. We're thrilled that Forbes is trotting out the not-often-seen word, but want to offer a correction. Continue reading...
In an interview with Stephen Colbert, whose "Colbert Report" ends this week after nine years on the air, Ben Zimmer gets the inside scoop on truthiness, Colbert's ultimate "silly word that would feel wrong in your mouth." Continue reading...
We have all seen this tired loop of "instruction": distribute word list, have students look up words, ask students to use the words in original sentences. While encouraging usage is never a bad idea, it's not realistic to expect students to pivot from definition to usage without guidance. We suggest ditching (or at least delaying) the idea of originality and instead asking students to model their sentences on usage examples written by those people who are especially skilled with using words: professional writers. Continue reading...
For my latest appearance on the Slate podcast Lexicon Valley, I take a look at a word with an origin story that seems too good to be true: grog, an alcoholic concoction, typically of rum and water, that has been making sailors groggy since the 18th century. Continue reading...
Our powerful new teacher dashboard puts the most useful data about how your students are learning words a mouse-click away. This quick video tutorial will introduce you to everything the tool offers and how you can use it to find out what your students are learning and where they're having trouble. Continue reading...
I occasionally teach a class about using Microsoft Word. In one of the class exercises, students are asked to format a page, and the instructions tell them to "outdent" a heading. After I got several questions about that each class, I realized that lots of people have no idea what the term means. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Language, Usage, Words
Last week, as we announced ten winners and ten runners up to the Vocabulary Video contest we ran in partnership with the New York Times Learning Network, we couldn't help but notice that two of the top twenty videos were submitted by students working with Elizabeth Ellison, a teacher at the Robert C. Fisler School in Fullerton, CA. We reached out to Ellison to ask her about her vocabulary teaching program. What's driving her students' success? Continue reading...
In an interview with BBC Future, Ben Zimmer, executive editor of Vocabulary.com and the Visual Thesaurus, weighed in on the question, "Is technology changing language?" Watch this video to find out why the pace of change in language right now makes this an "exhilarating time." Continue reading...
TOPICS: Language, Online, Usage
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