6 7 8 9 10 Displaying 50-56 of 375 Articles

Though I became an editor partly because I enjoy finding fault in the work of others, I have on occasion tried to help my fellow man and woman right some of the more popular wrongs perpetrated against the language.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

In last Sunday's New York Times, I wrote about how researchers are using Twitter to build huge linguistic datasets in order to answer all sorts of interesting analytical questions. Some are looking at the emotional responses of Libyans to unfolding events like the death of Qaddafi, while others are tracking the distribution of regional patterns in American English. This latter research area, Twitter dialectology, is just getting off the ground, but the results are already quite intriguing.  Continue reading...
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A great number of British people think that the way that the language is spoken on the British Isles is "proper" English and is the source language, the Holy Grail of English. In actual fact that is not true, and the way that the language has evolved in America leaves American English (AE) with correlates to the earlier form of English that existed when the Pilgrims hopped onto the Mayflower, many of which are not heard these days on Albion's crowded shores.  Continue reading...
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Studies show that many people, pets, and colleagues are dumber than a brick. (Or, if you want to look on the bright side, as smart as a box of rocks.) However, as any manners maven will tell you, comparing a co-worker or schnauzer's intelligence to a stump or post is rather cruel. Thankfully, best-selling sportswriter Bill Simmons has concocted a five-word, poppycock-stuffed, restaurant-quality euphemism for stupidity: saddled with limited intellectual capital.  Continue reading...
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I recently watched John Pollack's YouTube video of his "pun safari" where he combed the streets of New York City trying to spot images of puns (such as the restaurant sign "Ciao for Now" and the waitress's "Bored of Education" T-shirt). Even though I find this kind of humor a bit painful, the video did support Pollack's call for awareness that "puns are everywhere." The video also made me think about how useful it could be to challenge students to take their own "word safaris" to document the prevalence of the words they are learning.  Continue reading...
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November is a great month to steep your students in historical "primary" documents. You could have students read President Wilson’s 14 points in anticipation of Armistice Day (November 11th, now called Veteran’s Day) and the Gettysburg Address to commemorate Lincoln’s famous speech which was delivered on November 19th, 1863.  Continue reading...
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Words step outside of their borders all the time; and once they are in new territory, they rarely follow the rules that bound them in their original context. As time passes, they can become complete strangers to their original users, and may even be seen as betraying them.  Continue reading...
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6 7 8 9 10 Displaying 50-56 of 375 Articles