Gathering in Washington D.C. for its annual meeting, the American Dialect Society has made its 26th annual selection for Word of the Year. And as predicted in this space last month, the winner is a lowly pronoun: they used as a gender-neutral alternative to he and she, with special attention paid to its use as an expression of "non-binary" gender identity. Continue reading...
Greetings from Washington, D.C., where the American Dialect Society is holding its annual conference. On Thursday, in my capacity as chair of the society's New Words Committee, I presided over the nominating session for various categories in our Word of the Year selection. Winners will be selected from the different categories on Friday evening, culminating in the vote for the overall Word of the Year. Here's the list of nominees. Continue reading...
Topics: Fun Words
Do you have burning questions about how Vocabulary.com works and how you can get the most out of it? Our new Help Center makes it easier than ever to find the answers you're looking for. Continue reading...
As is the annual tradition, it is time once again to look back at the new and notable words of the past year. In 2015, could the most significant word have been a lowly pronoun? Continue reading...
Topics: Vocabulary Words
The third debate among the Democratic candidates for President was held on December 19 in New Hampshire. Our VocabGrabber pulled out coalition, validation, and prioritize as the top three most relevant words used over the course of the evening. But it wasn't so much the words used so much as the Poetry 101 speechifying techniques that caught our attention — were Secretary of State Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Governor Martin O'Malley not-so-surreptitiously seeking the English teacher vote? Continue reading...
Is there a difference between standard green beans and haricots verts? A langoustine and a lobster? There is, but it's subtle. Until it comes to menu writing, where haricots verts and langoustine can make a restaurant patron feel like something exciting and new is going to be served. Continue reading...
A Vocabulary.com user reported this vocab-in-the-news moment today: He woke up to his clock-radio alarm in mid-Republican-presidential-debate recap, just in time to hear Governor Chris Christie call President Barack Obama a "feckless weakling." "Now that's some good vocabulary!" our user wrote in. 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...