Blog Excerpts

Business Buzzwords to Avoid

Impact. Ideate. Interface. Those are just 3 of 30 business buzzwords that you should remove from your vocabulary. See goodcopybadcopy for the whole list.
Have you ever tasted something that was so wonderful that experiencing it for the first time transported you rapturously to another plane, the food itself rising to the level of the divine, the perfect essence of what that food was supposed to be? Continue reading...
Topics: Vocabulary Words
Last week, after the death of Walter Cronkite, I wrote about how two words seemed irrevocably linked to the great newsman: avuncular and anchorman. Obituaries claimed that the term anchorman was first coined to refer to Cronkite, but as I wrote in Slate, this isn't exactly true: there were earlier "anchormen" on television, even if they didn't play quite the same coordinating role as Cronkite and his emulators. The Associated Press obituary, which was picked up by news outlets around the world, followed up the anchorman claim with another linguistic nugget about Cronkite, and this one is on even shakier factual ground. Continue reading...
Earlier this week in the Book Nook section of our Educators page, we featured an excerpt from Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher's Learning Words Inside and Out, all about how teachers can use mnemonics to help students commit words to memory. Some of these memory aids are extremely well-known: most everyone knows Roy G. Biv spells out the initial letters of the seven colors in the spectrum, for instance. But there's an endless number of other mnemonic devices that get passed down from generation to generation, covering just about every field of human endeavor. Continue reading...
Topics: Vocabulary Fun Words

Blog Excerpts

When a Gerundy-Looking Word Isn't a Gerund

Even the New York Times can get tripped up on the difference between gerunds and participles. In her Tip of the Week, Copyediting newsletter editor Wendalyn Nichols explains how a punctuation error in the Times is symptomatic of confusion about words ending in -ing.
Last week, in part one of our interview with author Paul Dickson, we talked about the work that went into the new edition of his Dickson Baseball Dictionary — a thousand-page monument to baseball's bottomless linguistic riches. Now in part two, Dickson discusses the diverse influences on the language of baseball, and how the sport has become a metaphorical source in politics and elsewhere. Continue reading...
Topics: Vocabulary Books Fun
If "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally" saved you in learning the order of operations in mathematics, then you should check out what Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher have to say in Learning Words Inside and Out about using keyword mnemonics to help commit words to memory. Continue reading...
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