Last week on NPR's Morning Edition, sports commentator Frank Deford said in a piece about Serena Williams and her volatile style that "the proof is in the pudding." After a listener questioned the usage, I was called in to be the arbiter on the idiomatic expression. Is the proof in the pudding? Or is the proof of the pudding in the eating? Continue reading...

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Ten Words from Today's NY Times - August 29, 2012

Ten Words from Today's NY Times - August 29, 2012

Learn Ten Words from Today's Times - August 29, 2012.

Then see Vocabulary Begets Vocabulary: The More You Know, the More You Learn to understand why learning these words will help you absorb even more as you read.

Cities that have hard winters have no "alternative" and must repair roads in the summer. And when they do, they need to provide motorists with "alternate" routes.

That sentence illustrates the difference between "alternative" and "alternate." Continue reading...

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List of the Week: Fort Myers Senior High School Words of the Week

List of the Week: Fort Myers Senior High School Words of the Week

Vocabulary.com user "Contemporaneous" has created a free, interactive Vocabulary List for high school students: Fort Myers Senior High School Words of the Week. You can too!

Learn Contemporaneous's list or watch this short video to find out how to make your own.

Can a simple slangy acronym mark a generation gap? YOLO, short for "You Only Live Once," has emerged as an age-based shibboleth: all too familiar to members of the millennial set, and all but meaningless to their elders. In my latest Boston Globe column, I dissect the YOLO phenomenon, but there's much more to say about those four letters. Continue reading...
Topics: Language Words Usage
With the back-to-school season well underway, take a fresh look at the Vocabulary.com Dictionary in these two short videos. Continue reading...
Another week, another update from a dictionary publisher reflecting recent additions to the lexicon. Last week, it was Merriam-Webster rolling out new words, including such eyebrow-raisers as f-bomb and sexting. Now comes Oxford Dictionaries Online with their quarterly update, making space for some trendy neologisms, including lolz, ridic, and the nefarious mwahahaha. Continue reading...
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