Thanks to numerous anecdotes about the old and new ways of the lexicography, I quite enjoyed The Word Detective: Searching for the Meaning of it All at the Oxford English Dictionary, the memoir of John Simpson, former Chief Editor. Simpson was a participant and prime mover in the huge changes to the OED, which saw the dictionary finally being produced, "from the computer database, not from copper plates." Because of the unique insights into the most important and impressive dictionary in English, this is a book any word lover should enjoy. Continue reading...
After her defeat in the presidential election by Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton delivered her concession speech on November 9, 2016. Concession speeches are an occasion for the losing candidate to bow out gracefully and to show the maturity it takes to accept defeat. Like those who have conceded or merely said farewell before her, Hillary Clinton's concession was a summation of a public life, with a dash of personal reflection and a vow to keep on fighting. Continue reading...
Topics: Language Politics
Donald J. Trump, newly elected President, delivered a speech in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 to celebrate his victory and thank his supporters. In contrast to much of his campaign rhetoric, these remarks sought to reach out to former adversaries and heal old wounds. Comparing the poetic language of Barack Obama's 2012 victory speech with the comparatively plain-spoken language of President-elect Trump's address gives us a window into two very different ways to accomplish many of the same goals. Continue reading...
The first presidential debate between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump was held on September 26, 2016. Whatever your political affiliation, from a vocabulary perspective it was an intriguing contest. Continue reading...
Garner's Modern English Usage, which just released its fourth edition, is potentially a damn useful thing to me. And after looking through Bryan A. Garner's latest, I can report that the potential is realized: this is an extremely useful and sensible guide. I don't know if I would sleep with it under my pillow, but I won't keep it far from my desk. Continue reading...
Topics: Books Language Usage
One of the ways in which massive corpora (databases of natural language examples) have revolutionized lexicography is by providing access to a level of statistical analysis of language that was never before possible. The data in a corpus can tell us, with the effort of a few keystrokes—and backed by the effort of hundreds of person-hours of software development—all we need to know about the most frequent uses and collocations of words. Continue reading...
With what advertisers are coyly calling the "big game" looming this weekend, I decided it was time to follow up on a feeling that had been growing on me for a while: That I was hearing more and more people using super as an intensifier for adjectives, as in "I'm super excited!" Continue reading...
Topics: Language Usage Words
1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 1-7 of 464 Articles

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.