3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 321 Articles

Retailers, not content with branding products, have lately taken to branding days of the week, as a way to hype the holiday shopping rush. "Black Friday," the name for the day after Thanskgiving, was transformed from a negative to a positive by some clever etymological mythologizing (make that etymythologizing). Then the Monday after Thanksgiving was christened "Cyber Monday," and now some marketers would like to extend that to a "Cyber Week."  Continue reading...
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On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, Americans kick off the holiday shopping season with a bang. In his Word Routes column last year, lexicographer Ben Zimmer explored the origins of the phrase "Black Friday." It is not, as many believe, the day when retailers' balance sheets change from red to black.  Continue reading...
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We're pleased to present another excerpt from Constance Hale's entertaining new book, Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing. Here she focuses on phrasal verbs, "the verbal combos that join an action word with a tiny preposition or particle to make a whole new meaning."  Continue reading...
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For the fifth consecutive year, the Visual Thesaurus assisted the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses with its annual Spelling Bee supporting the work of independent literary publishers. As in past years, the VT supplied the words to challenge some of New York's leading literary lights, and this year singer-turned-memoirist Rosanne Cash emerged victorious.  Continue reading...
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Everyone likes puppies, cookies, Batman, and humorous quotations. Therefore, the fourth edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations, edited by the late Ned Sherrin, should be enjoyed by everyone. This Brit-heavy volume leans closer to the witty than the funny, but it's both a serious reference book and a hall-of-fame bathroom book.  Continue reading...
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Last February, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke warned the House of Representatives that "under current law, on January 1st, 2013, there is going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases." Now, with the election over, President Obama and the lame-duck Congress are trying to figure out a way to avoid the "fiscal cliff." But where did the phrase come from? And is the cliff metaphor really so apt?  Continue reading...
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November 23rd has been named Fibonacci Day since 11-23 doubles as the date's abbreviation and the first numbers in the Fibonacci Sequence (1, 1, 2, 3...). The Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci used this sequence in lots of wacky ways--from predicting the population growth of rabbits to exploring the "golden ratio" formed between two consecutive numbers in the sequence.  Continue reading...
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3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 321 Articles