One of the controversies surrounding President-elect Trump has been the separation (or lack thereof) between his previous life as a businessman and his future career as president. Yet the Constitution prohibits him from accepting any emolument. The soon-to-be president's actions may be limited by this word, so let's examine it in detail. Continue reading...
The final Presidential Debate of this campaign season took place on October 19th in Las Vegas, Nevada. 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...
The periodic table of elements is an iconic image familiar to anyone with even the rudiments of education and it is perhaps one of the most successful visual representations of information ever conceived: it brings a high level of order to a field of knowledge that is too complex to organize in memory and it rewards study at every level. Continue reading...
Topics: Fun Word Origins
As the United States celebrates Presidents' Day, it's a good time to mull over how we ended up calling the national leader "president" in the first place. Executive editor Ben Zimmer spoke to NPR's All Things Considered about the term's history. Continue reading...
Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant leads all films with 12 nominations for the 88th Academy Awards, and it has already racked up several Golden Globes. The movie has put the unusual word revenant on the tip of a lot of tongues, with many of us asking, "What the heck does it mean?" 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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