It's been a while since I've written a column for this space, and in large part the hiatus has been due to my (successful) campaign for a seat on my local school board. Or board of education. Which is it? Is there a difference? Continue reading...
Topics: Language Usage Words
As is the annual tradition, it is time once again to look back at the new and notable words of the past year. In 2015, could the most significant word have been a lowly pronoun? Continue reading...
Topics: Vocabulary Words
Coined names, dictionary-word names, an acronym, a surname: the year now ending was full of variety for anyone interested in branding trends. Here, in alphabetical order, are my top ten brand names for 2015. Continue reading...
Topics: Branding Naming
The third debate among the Democratic candidates for President was held on December 19 in New Hampshire. Our VocabGrabber pulled out coalition, validation, and prioritize as the top three most relevant words used over the course of the evening. But it wasn't so much the words used so much as the Poetry 101 speechifying techniques that caught our attention — were Secretary of State Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Governor Martin O'Malley not-so-surreptitiously seeking the English teacher vote? Continue reading...
Is there a difference between standard green beans and haricots verts? A langoustine and a lobster? There is, but it's subtle. Until it comes to menu writing, where haricots verts and langoustine can make a restaurant patron feel like something exciting and new is going to be served. Continue reading...
A Vocabulary.com user reported this vocab-in-the-news moment today: He woke up to his clock-radio alarm in mid-Republican-presidential-debate recap, just in time to hear Governor Chris Christie call President Barack Obama a "feckless weakling." "Now that's some good vocabulary!" our user wrote in. Continue reading...
For the latest installment of Slate's podcast Lexicon Valley, I look at how the seemingly random number eighty-six became a verb meaning to get rid of something, thanks to a long-forgotten code of hash houses and soda-fountain lunch counters. Continue reading...
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