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Blog Excerpts

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year

Two months ago we tackled the history of the word bailout. Now it's been named Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year. Read all about it here.

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Last week in the first part of our interview with journalist David Wolman about his book Righting the Mother Tongue, he told us how he was inspired to set out on a journey to discover the origins of the maddening English spelling system. Now in part two, Wolman explains why ambitious spelling reforms are doomed to failure, and how 21st-century technology may be accomplishing what the reformers were never able to do. He also muses on the enduring popularity of the National Spelling Bee.  Continue reading...
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Blog Du Jour

Your Virtual Bookshelf

Here are social networking sites for book lovers, allowing you to create a virtual bookshelf and share recommendations with fellow bibliophiles.

LibraryThing

Goodreads

Shelfari

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President-Elect Obama has begun to assemble his nominees for Cabinet posts — something he had promised to do, in his first post-election press conference, "with all deliberate haste." If deliberate means "marked by careful consideration or reflection," and haste means "overly eager speed (and possible carelessness)," doesn't that make "deliberate haste" an oxymoron?  Continue reading...
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True confession time: I'd never read Ernest Hemingway's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Old Man and the Sea until a couple of weeks ago, for this column. Yeesh, I know, I know, and I'm sorry. Walk away from this column if you must, convinced I'm not qualified to give you any advice for your ELA classroom. I wouldn't blame you. All I can say is that the high school I went to didn't have a cracker-jack curriculum, and, um, I hate fish. I really do. I have a phobia about all creatures of the sea, actually, and fish aren't even my most dreaded. Let's put it this way: if the book was titled The Old Man and the Squid, this column would be about a Jane Austen book.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Japanese Words of the Year

A panel of judges has selected the year's most popular Japanese words and phrases: everything from guerilla rainstorm to whispering matron. Check out the list at Pink Tentacle.
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It's a special journalistic edition of Mailbag Friday! Today's question comes from Molly Eichel, assistant editor at Philadelphia City Paper:

I was hoping you could help me out with a linguistic conundrum. I work at the Philadelphia City Paper and I wrote a blog post about the inclusion of the word meh into the upcoming edition of the Collins English Dictionary. I think meh doesn't deserve a spot in a reference book; it's slang at best and sound effect at worst. A blogger at Philadelphia Weekly disagrees. I would really like to hear your thoughts on the matter, so it becomes a legitimate discussion rather than a spat between two bloggers. What do you think about meh's inclusion into a dictionary?
 Continue reading...
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3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 418 Articles