VOCABULARY.COM BLOG

Students around the country can take part in a new, nationwide challenge: the Vocabulary Bowl, a competition in which schools vie to see who can master the most words and come out on top of the yearlong Vocabulary.com leaderboard for the 2014-15 school year. Continue reading...

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"YOLO" Enters Oxford Dictionaries

Among the new words just added to Oxford Dictionaries is "YOLO," an acronym for "You Only Live Once." Loyal readers will recall that our own Ben Zimmer has been on the YOLO beat for a couple of years. Read his August 2012 Word Routes column, "Further Adventures of YOLO," here, and read about how his Boston Globe column helped put the word on the map here.
Deadspin reports this week on White Sox pitcher Chris Sale's personal vocabulary challenge: "After nearly every start this season...Sale has met a specific objective: Incorporate a predetermined word into his postgame conference." Continue reading...
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
Like has a new meaning. The word used to mean 'feel affection for,' 'take pleasure in,' or 'enjoy.' Now, thanks to Facebook, like can also mean, "Yes, I read what you wrote," or just a noncommittal "uh huh." Continue reading...
TOPICS: Language, Online, Words
Here is the latest in a series of tips on usage and style shared by Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl. One of Mignon's correspondents inquires about when setup should appear as a single, unbroken word, and when there should be a space or a hyphen between set and up. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Grammar, Usage, Words
In a review for the New York Times Sunday Book Review of Karen Joy Fowler's "readably juicy and surreptitiously smart" We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Barbara Kingsolver describes the novel as "a story of Everyfamily in which loss engraves relationships, truth is a soulful stalker and coming-of-age means facing down the mirror, recognizing the shape-shifting notion of self." She might have added that it is an excellent read for anyone intersted in words. Continue reading...

Blog Excerpts

Why You'll Be Able to Play "Qajaq" in Scrabble

The new edition of the official Scrabble dictionary is being released, and with it come 5,000 new words that North American players will be able to make with their tiles. There are helpful two-letter words like DA, GI, PO, and TE, but perhaps most interesting are such oddities as QAJAQ and QUINZHEE. It turns out those are both Inuit words, included because the Canadian Oxford Dictionary is one of the sources. Read all about it in the National Post here.
TOPICS: Fun, Words
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