The Republican debate on CNBC was billed as a discussion of the financial issues facing the nation, but it turned into something much livelier than that description might suggest: a raucous two hours. Candidates interrupted each other and asked for rule clarifications, rebelling against and refusing to answer moderator questions — questions which were often greeted by a loud chorus of audience boos. Continuing our coverage of relevant words in the debate season, we've prepared a list of the top ten most relevant words heard last night; below are a few linguistic highs (and lows) from the contest. Continue reading...
No matter what generation you were born in, your destiny is to hear incessant blather about generations, as journalists are obsessed by the topic, particularly when it comes to making the younger generation seem like unholy mutants born to usher in the end of days. Allan Metcalf's new word book—From Skedaddle to Selfie: Words of the Generations—is a timely read for era-obsessed readers with a taste for history and, of course, words. Continue reading...
Teachers: We've just added a built-in assignment tool to make it even easier to assign vocabulary lists for your students to practice. This functionality should come as a welcome addition to teachers--we added it based on your feedback and expect it to be a game changer for anyone teaching word learning using vocabulary.com. Continue reading...
Going into the Vocabulary Bowl last year, no one could have predicted how seriously Obehi Obano would take word learning. A typical eighth grader, Obehi had to work extra hard in math to make the honor roll, and listed among her favorite activities hanging out with her friends, watching "Full House," and going to the beach. But, when it came to vocabulary, "typical" Obehi was not. After she got hooked on the game, she mastered more than 5,000 words during the school year. That's more than 600 words per month, 150 per week, and an impressive 20 per day. Continue reading...
I recently ran across a quote in a "This I Believe" list on Beers' blog supporting the self-selected reading model, and it reminded me to question our collective faith in Lexile and other measures of readability. The resistance to self-selected reading goes hand in hand with the resistance to giving students the power to be in charge of their own vocabulary enrichment. In both cases, the resistance is a result of the faulty assumption that if a teacher is not in charge of the learning, then it must not be taking place. Continue reading...
On the latest installment of the Slate podcast Lexicon Valley, I look into the origins of the slang term humdinger, which hit it big around the turn of the 20th century to refer to someone or something remarkable or impressive. Continue reading...
Maybe it's the newly chilly air, or the dwindling daylight, or the thrilling prospect of costumes and candy. Whatever the reason, each autumn brings a harvest of seasonal neologisms, word blends, and commercial coinages as colorful as the falling leaves. Continue reading...
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