Mark Peters is a language columnist, lexicographer, and humorist who has written for Esquire, The Funny Times, New Scientist, Psychology Today, Salon, and Slate. He contributes to OUPblog and writes the Best Joke Ever column for McSweeney's. You can read Mark's own jokes on Twitter, such as, "I play by my own rules, which is probably why no one comes to my board game parties anymore."
Fortunately, it doesn't take radiation or a distant home planet to learn new words. We're all capable of donning the mantle of Word Person. Continue reading...
Words like hallow and eldritch aren't as catchy as "trick or treat," but they are part of the colorful history of this popular holiday. Better to learn them now than later: don't take a chance of being haunted by the apparition of a weak vocabulary. Continue reading...
The lingo of our National Pastime may not strike you as particularly fascinating at first, but dig a little deeper and you'll appreciate how many baseball terms also apply to life in general. Continue reading...
Topics: Fun Usage
London's colossal clog is a reminder of the history of berg and its parent word iceberg. With language, there's always a lot going on beneath the surface. Continue reading...
With a new Star Trek TV show debuting soon — Star Trek: Discovery — this is a good time to look at some Star Trek lingo, which involves other science fiction mythologies, actual science, and, to a large extent, the navy. Beam these words up to your vocabulary, stat. Continue reading...
Topics: Fun Language
For athleticism and drama, it doesn't get much better than tennis. So in honor of the U.S. Open—one of the four major tennis tournaments—let's look at some tennis words, which won't help your stroke but will boost your vocabulary. Continue reading...
It's summertime, time to head to the beach and to complain about the high temperatures we couldn't wait for back in February when it was 15 degrees outside. Fortunately, there are plenty of words to use when griping about heat beyond hot. Continue reading...
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