The recent passage of health care legislation in the U.S. Congress has got linguist Neal Whitman ruminating over a reform-related metaphor that doesn't make much sense when you stop to think about it. Continue reading...
These childhood memories employ a number of words that appear in my book More Words That Make a Difference, with illustrative sentences from the Atlantic Monthly. Continue reading...
Topics: Vocabulary Words
Stan Carey, a professional editor from Ireland, writes entertainingly about the English language on his blog Sentence First. Here Stan enlightens us about an Irish word borrowed into English, galore. Continue reading...
It's been a whirlwind week since the official announcement that I would be taking over the "On Language" column in the New York Times Magazine, the old stomping grounds of the late lamented Language Maven, William Safire. I'm grateful for all of the warm messages of congratulation I've received, and I also remain cognizant that in taking over Safire's column, I have extremely big shoes to fill. Continue reading...
Wendalyn Nichols, editor of the Copyediting newsletter, offers useful tips to copy editors and anyone else who prizes clear and orderly writing. Here she looks at the common misuse of the word misnomer. Continue reading...
Michael Lydon, a well-known writer on popular music since the 1960s, has for many years also been writing about writing. Lydon's essays, written with a colloquial clarity, shed fresh light on familiar and not so familiar aspects of the writing art. Here Lydon explores how short words are more potent than long words. Continue reading...
If you watched the Oscars on Sunday, like many other viewers you were probably left scratching your head when, after "Music by Prudence" won for Best Documentary Short, there was a struggle for the microphone between two of the film's creators. Elinor Burkett snatched the microphone from Roger Ross Williams, in what was almost immediately dubbed a "Kanye moment." Or you could say Burkett "pulled a Kanye," or that Williams simply got "Kanye'd." Continue reading...
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