Dr. King's words evoke connections and resonate with readers decades after they were first written. We explore his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" through the lens of its literary merits. Continue reading...
The spells are quite witty, but they aren't the only examples of wordplay in the Harry Potter universe. In the Potter novels J. K. Rowling uses vocabulary that has made her characters living creatures to generations of readers. This tradition continues in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Continue reading...
When I recently heard a news reporter say that "China doesn't want a failed nuclear state on their doorstep," I was taken by surprise. Did China seriously want North Korea to succeed in their nuclear ambitions? Continue reading...
As keynote speaker at the 2015 American Copy Editors Society meeting, lexicographer Ben Zimmer showed off the resources in the Vocabulary.com Dictionary as part of a talk on "Nitpickery, Debunkage, and the Joys of Getting It Right." Not surprisingly, ACES attendees live-tweeting the address were more likely to take note of Zimmer's singing, rapping, and discussion of language anachronisms in "Mad Men" and "Downton Abbey." Continue reading...
Topics: Fun Language Writing
Language allows us to communicate the ideas in our heads with other people. It is a main way we connect with the world around us. Because of that, language becomes very personal to each user. We form affinities for individual words because of what they mean to us. Continue reading...
On the surface, and/or seems like a helpful but mostly harmless little phrase — a little ugly, perhaps, but still useful for those times when you want to be extra clear about what all the options are. Most people associate the phrase with legal writing, but it turns out that a surprising number of lawyers and judges hate it, claiming that it's actually unclear and thus impossible to interpret. Continue reading...
Topics: Usage Words Writing
Karen Joy Fowler's PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (now shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize as well) is narrated by a character with an outsize vocabulary. Here, Fowler speaks with Vocabulary.com about the process of finding the words to create that character and the fun of breaking the rule, "Never use a 100-dollar word when a one-dollar word will do." Continue reading...
1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 1-7 of 36 Articles

Sign up, it's free!

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