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It's April, which means that the major league baseball season is once again under way. Time to celebrate America's favorite pastime with a look at the origins of words from the baseball diamond.  Continue reading...
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What the city of Boston experienced last week was described again and again as surreal. It was the only word that seemed capable of encompassing the week's unfolding events, from Monday's deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line to Friday's lockdown of the city as SWAT teams zeroed in on the remaining suspect of the bombing.  Continue reading...
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Promoting a new book entitled Netymology: A Linguistic Celebration of the Digital World, British author Tom Chatfield has been making the rounds talking about peculiar tech coinages, from "the Cupertino effect" to "approximeetings."  Continue reading...
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Of the many small errors that bedevil many writers — and enrage their teachers and editors — there is perhaps none so simple to understand, and explain, than the use of "it's" when "its" is meant.  Continue reading...
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"Plus" is a positive workhorse of a word. It can be a preposition (two plus two), an adjective (a C-plus grade), or a noun (the good weather is a plus). Until recently, though, "plus" has mostly stayed out of the verb column. That's changing, on the evidence of some recent sightings.  Continue reading...
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"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." This enigmatic sentence has been bouncing around the literate world for thirty-plus years. Many attribute it to the cerebral comedian Martin Mull, but its origins, like those of many such catch phrases, remain misty.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

A Taxing Day for Dictionaries

"Yes, April 15th is still the dreaded tax day," writes Mim Harrison. "But thanks to Samuel Johnson, it's also a great day for the English language and its wealth of wonderful words." That's because it is the date on which Johnson published his monumental dictionary of the English language in 1755. Read Harrison's look back at Johnson's Dictionary here.
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1 2 3 4 Displaying 8-14 of 25 Articles