8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 450 Articles

Whither The #Hashtag?

The hashtag, which was born on Twitter as a handy way to organize conversation, is now spreading to Facebook. But there's a #hashtag #backlash, too, with some wondering if the convention has outlived its usefulness.  Continue reading...

Gosh-All-Potomac! 10 Great Minced Oaths

"Minced oaths," Arika Okrent of Mental Floss reminds us, are "creative substitutions" of taboo expressions, and English used to be full of them. Okrent lists ten entertaining ones, including "G. Rover Cripes!" and "Gosh-All-Potomac!" See the whole list here.

The NCAA College Basketball Tournament, nicknamed "March Madness," is in full swing again, and some early-round upsets have spelled bad news for those betting on chalk, meaning the favorites in the tournament. How did the term chalk come to be associated with teams favored by oddsmakers? A Word Routes column by Ben Zimmer has the answer.  Continue reading...

Obsolete Words Worth Reviving?

Some words that have fallen into disuse are due for a revival. Recently, the blog Jezebel compiled "18 uncommon or obsolete words that we think may have died early," including curglaff ("the shock felt in bathing when one first plunges into the cold water") and resistentialism (the seemingly spiteful behavior shown by inanimate objects). Check out the complete list here.

How Are You Celebrating National Grammar Day?

Happy National Grammar Day, all you grammar-heads! To celebrate, you might enjoy reading through the contributions to the annual Grammar Haiku Contest. (Congratulations to the winners — full results are here). And check out Jen Doll's piece for The Atlantic Wire about how best to celebrate the day (featuring an interview with our own Ben Zimmer) here.

How Language Shapes The Gun Debate

On NPR's Morning Edition, Ari Shapiro reported on how the debate over gun restrictions in the United States is powerfully framed by terms such as "gun control" and "gun rights." Our own Ben Zimmer is interviewed about how language shapes such political debates. Listen to the segment here, and check out a list of "loaded words" from the gun debate here.

On the NPR program "Fresh Air," Berkeley linguist Geoff Nunberg turned to a topic that is one of our favorites: assessing the linguistic accuracy of period dramas, whether it's Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Lincoln or Argo. In an age obsessed with authenticity, Nunberg argues, we often choose to nitpick over the wrong details.  Continue reading...

8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 450 Articles