We've added several new literature-based Vocabulary Lists to our collection. Check out Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
, The Crucible
, and Of Mice and Men
. Remember: these Lists are interactive, which means learning them feels like a game.
It's been about three months since I started my job as a teaching assistant at the University of Pittsburgh. Since doing so, I've not just left behind Brooklyn for the 'Burgh, and "Fuhgedaboutit" for "Yinz want some food?"; I've also adapted my vocabulary, too. The words I use in my classroom now are different from when I taught high school. This is a challenge, and one I've been interested to watch my students — all first-semester freshmen — take on, as well.
Earlier this week, an article in the Guardian
reported that "an eminent former editor of the Oxford English Dictionary covertly deleted thousands of words because of their foreign origins and bizarrely blamed previous editors." But it turns out that this seemingly sensational story is "completely bogus," according to OED editor at large Jesse Sheidlower. Read Sheidlower's explanation on The New Yorker's Culture Desk blog here
. (Update, 12/3
: Our own Ben Zimmer has a column about the pseudo-controversy on the New York Times op/ed page
Last week we brought you an excerpt from Constance Hale's new book, Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing
, focusing on the power of phrasal verbs. In this second part, Hale looks at just how productive those "fertile phrasals" have grown to be.
Retailers, not content with branding products, have lately taken to branding days of the week, as a way to hype the holiday shopping rush. "Black Friday," the name for the day after Thanskgiving, was transformed from a negative to a positive by some clever etymological mythologizing (make that etymythologizing). Then the Monday after Thanksgiving was christened "Cyber Monday," and now some marketers would like to extend that to a "Cyber Week."
At Vocabulary.com, we get a consistent message from our users. They're "addicted" to the Vocabulary.com Challenge. Recently, we took a look at the best-selling book The Power of Habit
by Charles Duhigg to try to understand why.