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Blog Excerpts

"Selfie" Wins as Oxford's Word of the Year

The word selfie, defined as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself," took over social media this year, so it's no surprise that it has also been named as Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries. Selfie beat out other contenders like bitcoin, binge-watch, and of course, twerk. Read the full announcement from Oxford University Press here.
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One hundred and fifty years ago today, Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most famous American speeches: The Gettysburg Address, a speech that reportedly lasted less than two minutes and that he considered "a flat failure." Use this worksheet to help students use vocabulary and key lines from the address to discover Lincoln's lasting message to Americans.  Continue reading...
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Today is the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Or, to put it another way, the best-known American speech is seven score and ten years old. Although it's famous, familiar, and was often memorized by schoolchildren, the text of the Gettysburg Address is uncertain: we all know the words, or many of them, but it turns out that there are many Gettysburg Addresses, not just one.  Continue reading...
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We all know the old fairy tale: Goldilocks enters the house of the Three Bears and samples their porridge, their chairs, and their beds. Each time she finds one item that's "just right." In recent years, the familiar story has been making the rounds, with the word "Goldilocks" showing up in some unexpected contexts, from astronomy to economy.  Continue reading...
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Noel Anenberg, a regular reader of this column and author of the forthcoming book The Dog Boy, asked me about a usage of have that implies, Anenberg writes, "the speaker's active role in the events." Compare "I had my house cleaned" and "I had my car stolen."  Continue reading...
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In What is English? And Why Should We Care?, Tim William Machan looks at the nooks, crannies, accents, dialects, words, and other details that have made English English over the centuries. After reading this book, you'll agree that "English serves as the password to a kind of cross-cultural, transhistorical club that one might or might not want to join."  Continue reading...
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In recent weeks, we've talked about idioms that are misheard, and thus miswritten. Now, we'll discuss some idioms that say the opposite of what they mean and whether they're "acceptable" English.  Continue reading...
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3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 292 Articles