If you've been following the strange saga of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, then you've likely come across the term "catfishing" to describe the type of prank he fell victim to, in which a romantic interest turns out to be nothing more than a fabricated online identity. The term comes from the 2010 documentary "Catfish," but as I describe in my latest Boston Globe column, it's not the first time that a cinematic depiction has spawned a new verb. Continue reading...
Topics: Language Words Usage
Are you a Toni Morrison fan? We've recently created authoritative, interactive Vocabulary Lists for her 1973 novel "Sula." Sentence examples are taken from the text of the novel, and the definition for each word has been aligned to match the context in which Morrison used it.  Continue reading...

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Ten Words from Today's NY Times - Jan. 30, 2013

Ten Words from Today's NY Times - Jan. 30, 2013

Learn Ten Words from Today's Times - Jan. 30, 2013.

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.

Topics: Vocabulary
Dictionary of Cultural Literacy author E.D. Hirsch assembles compelling research linking vocabulary learning to a success in life. Continue reading...
Over the years of teaching English as a foreign language, I've noticed how some of my students adopt some of the throwaway words and phrases that I use unthinkingly. The two words that are adopted most are stuff and thing (though I just as easily say thingy while waving a hand to indicate that I don't know or can't remember the correct word). Continue reading...
Jane Austen's masterwork Pride and Prejudice turns 200 today! Join the birthday celebration by quizzing yourself on words that may smack more of 1813 than they do of 2013 with our Vocabulary List "50 Words from Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice." Or check out the dozens of Pride and Prejudice Vocabulary Lists our users have made. Continue reading...
Last week, we wrote about "Words We Love to Hate." Now, thanks to Wayne State University's Word Warriors fourth annual list of ten words "especially worthy of retrieval from the linguistic closet," we get to look at words we love — and don't want to lose. Continue reading...
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