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In "Loving Las Vegas" for Harper's Magazine, Colson Whitehead uses hurly burly when he writes about a summer stint splitting a Let's Go student travel guide assignment among three friends. Continue reading...
Losing your job is scary. It raises many frightening questions. Can you find another job? How will you pay the bills in the meantime? Where will you get health insurance? Most importantly, what tacky and ridiculous euphemism will mask your firing so a corporate supervillain can sleep at night? Continue reading...
Topics: Fun Language Words
With Black Friday sales lower than last year, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journalare writing about our nation's increasing poverty via stories on debts we can't pay and demands from low-wage earners for more. Learn ten words drawn from these stories here. Continue reading...
Words can be thought of as historical artifacts; they carry with them a stamp of time and place, and sometimes it's important to take the long view and think about words outside their immediate context and use a broader perspective. Continue reading...
We've selected a set of vocabulary lists drawn from Laurie Halse Anderson's classic young adult novel Speak as our List of the Week, and we urge you to look specifically at the context examples. Not all context examples are created equal, but Anderson's are special. Here's why. Continue reading...
In case you haven't heard, today is "Cyber Monday," the day that retailers have decided we should all be flocking to make online purchases for our holiday gift list. Last year, Ben Zimmer explained how the advent of "Black Friday" led to the branding of "Cyber Monday" and other days in the Holy Week of shopping. Continue reading...
On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, Americans kick off the holiday shopping season with a bang. We look back to a Word Routes column by lexicographer Ben Zimmer exploring the origins of the phrase "Black Friday." It is not, as many believe, the day when retailers' balance sheets change from red to black. Continue reading...
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