Merrill Perlman settles a dispute between a sportswriter and his editor about whether the word "fraught" needs to take a preposition. Continue reading...
By the time you read this, my babies will have graduated. Yes, Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School, founded in 2007, graduated its first class on June 24, 2011, at 9:30 in the morning in what's got to be one of the largest school auditoriums in New York City. Continue reading...
The 2012 presidential election is still well over a year away, but the campaign trail is already in full swing. On Tuesday, Jon Huntsman, Jr. threw his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination, adding his name to a list that already includes Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Herman Cain. (And that's just the declared candidates.) The Republicans have been using some heated rhetoric toward President Obama, and toward each other. Here are some of the campaign's early buzzwords. Continue reading...
Earlier this month, lexiphiles were glued to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, as Sukanya Roy of South Abington Township, Pennsylvania won a grueling 20-round contest. As the drama unfolded on national television, the viewing audience got to hear some incredibly obscure words, along with their definitions, all read aloud from a great American dictionary now celebrating its 50th anniversary. Continue reading...
The Supreme Court is using dictionaries to interpret the Constitution. Both conservative justices, who believe the Constitution means today exactly what the Framers meant in the 18th century, and liberal ones, who see the Constitution as a living, breathing document changing with the times, are turning to dictionaries more than ever to interpret our laws. Continue reading...
We welcome back Fitch O'Connell, a longtime teacher of English as a foreign language, working for the British Council in Portugal. Fitch reveals what happened when students in his classes were asked to select their favorite words. Continue reading...

"I don't care how thick he gets, I'm not inviting him!"

I overheard this in Galway recently, and it prompted me to write a few notes on the word thick as it is used in Ireland. Continue reading...
Topics: Language Words Usage
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