Writing about an opt-out of testing movement brewing in her children's elementary school (and elsewhere), New Yorker
writer Rebecca Mead used the highly-specific invigilate
which, despite the fact that it describes a practice taking place in schools around the world every minute of every day, is a word most people don't know.
The great folk-music pioneer Pete Seeger died on Monday at the age of 94. He's best known for such classics as "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?," "If I Had a Hammer," and "Turn, Turn, Turn!" But we're particularly fond of a song that he performed about the irrationality of the English language, "English is Cuh-Ray-Zee."
Don't just learn Obama's State of the Union words
. Learn the vocabulary the media's using to write about "State of..." addresses with this Quick Current Events Quiz: ten key words cropping up in this week's New York Times
and Washington Post
State of the Union/State coverage.
As The New York Times
wrote in an obituary
for Pete Seeger, who died Monday, "folk music and a sense of community were inseparable, and where he saw a community, he saw the possibility of political action." Celebrate his legacy by learning vocabulary from his songs
With the Super Bowl just around the corner, our own Ben Zimmer talked to Seattle's KUOW about the origins of some football language. Some of the terms, like "the 12th man" and "the Legion of Boom," have special resonance in Seattle, home of the Super Bowl-bound Seahawks.
Whether you're a football purist or just in it for the seven-layer nachos dip, here are some football-centric word learning resources, Super Bowl-style.