The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which appears this weekend in all its thrilling spy story glory, might leave the non-nindoctrinated among us wondering: What does U.N.C.L.E. stand for? And why did the show's creators select that particular word? Continue reading...
Alphabet, Google's new parent company, has generated lots of business buzz this week. But the choice of "Alphabet" for the company's name is equally newsworthy. Not only does it signal a departure from Google's blandly descriptive naming style — Google Plus, Google Maps, Google Mail, and so on — but it also takes an imaginative flight away from geek-speak and toward a universe of names inspired by language and literature. Continue reading...
In an opinion piece in Education Week, research neuropsychologist Steven L. Miller argued that education technology should be used to close "30 million word gap." Its ability to personalize learning makes it faster than anything a teacher can do in a classroom, and with the gap ever-widening, speed is key. Continue reading...
In a rapid-response survey of candidates' vocabulary in the first GOP debate, broadcast last night on Fox News, Vocabulary.com analyzed the transcript to identify each candidate's most relevant vocabulary word. And the data-driven approach yielded some interesting results about the candidates' language use. Continue reading...
When English-language Scrabble champ Nigel Richards, who does not speak French, won a French-language Scrabble championship, analysts rushed to analyze how much memorization that actually entailed. Ben Zimmer explains that to get a full understanding of Richards' achievement, a simple counting of words in the dictionary only gives a partial picture. Continue reading...
Topics: Fun Language
Sparking comments about Kanye West giving Bob Dylan the "thesaurus blues," a new survey of the vocabulary of top-selling musical artists puts Eminem at the top of a chart dominated by hip hop in general. Continue reading...
Here at Vocabulary.com, we have always believed that one of the best ways to improve your vocabulary while learning about world events is by regularly reading a newspaper like The New York Times. That's why we are especially proud to announce our partnership with The New York Times Learning Network . This partnership will further boost students' literacy skills by bringing Vocabulary.com's word-learning power to students accessing The Times' fresh and engaging content on a daily basis. Continue reading...
For Slate's podcast Lexicon Valley, I look at the origins of an expression that turns nervousness and apprehension into a jokey malady: the heebie-jeebies. It turns out we can pin down not just the coiner but the very day that he coined the word. Continue reading...