The next time a language usage brouhaha has you ready to scream, come to blows or file for divorce -- wait! Cool down and contact Barbara Wallraff. The author of The Atlantic's popular Word Court and Word Fugitives columns and a weekly syndicated columnist for King Features, Barbara has been sorting out thorny language questions -- and occasionally saving marriages -- for over a quarter century. She's also written three terrific books on the subject: Word Fugitives, Your Own Words and Word Court. We had a lively talk with Barbara about usage, the role of dictionaries and the hidden power of Google:

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Fancy yourself a fashionista? Check out this fashion word list compiled by Jennifer Smith, former New York fashion designer now copywriter/PR pro for Deuce Creative. You'll be surprised by some of Seventh Avenue's parts of speech. Read on to sharpen your divaspeak...

Look. (noun) "Complete outfit, ensemble from head to toe including accessories and shoes. The number of outfits you send down the runway is equivalent to the number of looks in a fashion show."

Fitting. (noun) "Review of garments on a live model. Fit, proportion, make and details assessed. Changes are made to garments and patterns based on notes from a fitting."

Tchotchke. (noun) (from Yiddish) "Extraneous detail or treatment on a garment, often used negatively. An excess of novelty is often referred to as tchochke. Example: 'The dress appeared fussy, covered in ruffled tchochke.'"

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Topics: Vocabulary Fun Words
This month the Loungeurs enter the hurly-burly of one of language's more perplexing questions: why it always feels nice to say it twice. Continue reading...
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