A cold and brisk hello from snowy New York City! Winter is a great time to, as a friend of mine said, "Cozy down," at home and in the classroom. To that end, I've been knitting, reading and cooking a lot at home, and digging in with my kids to improve our practices at school. Continue reading...
Tuesday night's State of the Union address by President Obama provided a fresh round of political phrase-making. As members of Congress went on a bipartisan date night, Obama called for investments to win the future and meet our Sputnik moment by doing big things. Here's a look at some of the memorable words and phrases that came out of the speech. Continue reading...
Earlier this week, we interviewed Anne H. Charity Hudley and Christine Mallinson about their new book, Understanding English Language Variation in U.S. Schools. One intriguing section of the book discusses how students from culturally diverse backgrounds can be assisted in developing academic vocabulary. Here we present an excerpt describing how one creative student approached learning SAT vocabulary via rap. Continue reading...

Blog Excerpts

Conan's "Thrice" Campaign

Late-night talk-show host Conan O'Brien doesn't see why new words like chillax and frienemy should be added to the Oxford English Dictionary when useful old words like thrice have fallen out of favor. Watch Conan's campaign to get people using thrice again here.
Topics: Media Fun Words
This is a strange expression, often heard in the form: “You’ll be laughing on the other side of your face [when X happens].” But what does it mean and where does it come from? Continue reading...
Once again the American Dialect Society has performed its not-so-solemn duty in anointing a Word of the Year (aka WOTY), and the 2010 winner is app, as in, "There's an app for that." I'm just back from Pittsburgh, where the ADS held its annual meeting in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America, and I've got the full report. Continue reading...
The American Dialect Society’s annual meeting is coming up, and like all word nerds, I have Word of the Year fever. I won’t be in Pittsburgh for the meeting, but as the only euphemism columnist in this star quadrant, I want to make a case for euphemism of the year. Continue reading...
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