When Oxford Dictionaries announced that its quarterly update would include the word twerk, a term for a particularly racy dance style, the timing was perfect: just two days earlier, Miley Cyrus had created a sensation by "twerking" at MTV's Video Music Awards. The result, writes our own Ben Zimmer, was a "perfect lexicographical storm." Continue reading...
There is a new trend in concierge medicine, with concierge practices consisting of concierge doctors, concierge physicians, or maybe concierge dentists, all offering their versions of concierge healthcare. How did the word for the guy in the hotel lobby who can get you show tickets, a restaurant reservation, or almost anything else you need, come to refer to this kind of ultra-personalized medical care? Continue reading...

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Ten Words from "NY Times" History: March on Washington

Ten Words from "NY Times" History: March on Washington

Learn Ten Words from New York Times History - March on Washington - August 28, 1963. 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.
How learning "oasis" can deepen your understanding of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech delivered 50 years ago today. Continue reading...
"We have to turn the page on the bubble-and-bust mentality," President Obama said in a recent weekly address. After the economic ruin of the housing bubble, it's hard to argue with that sentiment. But "bubbles" have long been with us — the metaphor of the bubble has been applied to fragile financial schemes for nearly three centuries, originating as a literary device. Continue reading...
Get ready for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington by learning vocabulary from the "I Have a Dream" speech Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered that day, as well as vocabulary from King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Continue reading...
"In the mood for dance"? "My heart bleeded"? While creating vocabulary lists of unusual words found in pop music, writer and linguist Adam Cooper ran across some words that go beyond peculiarity and into the realm of error. Continue reading...
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