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On the NPR program "Fresh Air," Berkeley linguist Geoff Nunberg turned to a topic that is one of our favorites: assessing the linguistic accuracy of period dramas, whether it's Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Lincoln or Argo. In an age obsessed with authenticity, Nunberg argues, we often choose to nitpick over the wrong details. Continue reading...
Topics: Media Language Words

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That Iconic Boston Accent

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The "Today Show" visited Boston on Friday, and as part of the show they included a segment on the accent of the city, so immediately recognizable and so often imitated (but rarely well!). And who did they turn to for background on how the accent came to be? Our very own Ben Zimmer. Continue reading...
Topics: Media Language
When it first became evident that Hurricane Sandy might merge with an inland snowstorm to create a superstorm, the creative labels started pouring in. Snowicane. Snor'eastercane. Frankenstorm. But now that the storm has shut down much of the East Coast, is it time to set aside such wordplay? Continue reading...
Topics: Media Language Words
The big news in the copy editing world this week was the revelation that the Associated Press Stylebook would no longer hold the line against the long-stigmatized use of "hopefully" as a sentence adverb to mean "It is hoped." The announcement elicited some strong reactions both pro and con. Here is a roundup of some of the online responses to the stylebook change. Continue reading...
Topics: Media Online Usage
Last month, a post at the Poynter Institute took a strong stand: "It's time for copy editors to loosen the cardigan when it comes to 'media,'" Andrew Beaujon wrote. He said he felt "like a tool writing 'The media are.'" Continue reading...
As it has done for the past couple of years, the New York Times analytics department has kept track of which words readers of the Times website click on the most to look up definitions. At the top of the leaderboard this year are such stumpers as panegyric, immiscible, and Manichean. How well do you know the thorniest Times vocab? Continue reading...
If you were watching "This Week with Christiane Amanpour" on ABC Sunday morning, you saw a high-minded historical discussion of the U.S. Constitution. But you also might have caught an unusual media moment, when Amanpour, responding to Harvard University professor Jill Lepore, commented that Ben Franklin "was amazingly perspicacious when this Constitution was signed." As Amanpour spoke, a graphic popped up on the screen giving a dictionary definition for the word perspicacious. Continue reading...
2 3 4 5 6 Displaying 22-28 of 61 Articles

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