Once again award-winning writer and educator Bob Greenman takes us on a journey through words selected from More Words That Make a Difference, a delightful book illustrating word usage with passages from the Atlantic Monthly. Continue reading...
Our resident linguist Neal Whitman has been thinking about the idiomatic expression "call (someone) on the carpet," in the news because of President Obama's firing of General Stanley McChrystal. Continue reading...

Wendalyn Nichols, editor of the Copyediting newsletter, writes:

I've been mulling for weeks now about the difference between a leak and a spill, and the inadequacy of both terms to describe what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading...
After former NBA star Manute Bol died over the weekend, tributes in the sports pages recognized his awesome shot-blocking skills (it helped that he was 7-foot-7) and his equally awesome humanitarian work in his native Sudan. Another frequently cited legacy is that Bol popularized (or even coined) the expression "my bad" as an athletic mea culpa. On the ESPN gabfest "Around the Horn," Bill Plaschke even said of the supposed coinage, "Language experts have pretty much proven this." Let's investigate. Continue reading...
Wow! What a response my last column received. Any time The Washington Post excerpts your work, you know you're on to something. My thoughts on teaching vocabulary out of literary context struck a chord with many readers, and I thought it would be beneficial for all if I answered a few questions and shared a few further thoughts this month. Continue reading...
Stan Carey, a professional editor from Ireland, writes entertainingly about the English language on his blog Sentence First. Here Stan muses on the word "kill" and a special meaning it has in the colloquial English speech of Ireland. Continue reading...
I listen to a lot of NPR. Unless the correspondent is doing a "man in the street"-type interview, the subjects generally appear intelligent, educated and literate. At least they used to. I've heard several malapropisms in recent weeks, some of which are so common that I figure it's time I spoke up. Continue reading...
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