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Subscriber Bertha from England asks:

I enjoyed reading your article Writer's Craft in March, and will take great care when using the word "craft." I was actually surprised to learn that using it with regard to writing a position paper amounts to some abuse (or misuse! I have often stated that in my work!

On to what I really want to comment on: a recent word of the day "preen." I looked up synonyms and discovered one "primp" whose meaning appears to be similar if not the same as a word used in the US "pimp" as in "pimp my car." I first heard this expression while watching a television programme showing a group of mechanics who transform an old, beaten up, rusty car into a new wonderful and very attractive vehicles with all sorts of fittings in the interior. At the end when the owner of the vehicle sees how transformed it is they exclaim, "Thank you Mr. X for pimping my ride!" Now, I wonder, are the two words the same?

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Dept. of Word Lists

Tea Words

Submitted by Sebastian Beckwith, founder of In Pursuit of Tea, a company dedicated to "exploring remote regions to supply the finest artisanal teas."


Topics: Vocabulary Fun Words
250 years ago this month, on May 15th 1756, the tipping point in widespread European conflict came when England declared war on France and her allies, marking the official beginning of what came to be called the Seven Years' War. In commemoration, the Lounge has gone massively rococo with mock Chippendale furniture, and secured perukes for all the gentlemen and ruffs for the ladies. The Visual Thesaurus is celebrating by collecting together and examine all things seven. Continue reading...
A vacation in the desert recently gave the Lounge an opportunity to scrutinize a couple of old words in English and ponder their careers. Overall the experience left us rather high and -- dry. Continue reading...
Craft, a venerable and ancient word in English, appears to have grown so old that it can no longer defend itself against misuse by even well-meaning speakers and writers. This month the Lounge crafts its response to the phenomenon. Continue reading...
At what point do you conclude that spin doctors have spun out of control? The American Dialect Society thinks that the answer to that question is blowing in the wind. In the Lounge this month, we examine their findings. Continue reading...
If you've always longed to hitch your lederhosen to the zeitgeist but didn't know whether it was appropriate to do so with a karabiner, this month's Language Lounge is for you: we survey the influence of modern German on English, with tips from the top about when to translate and when to merely borrow. Continue reading...
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