Christmas songs: On city sidewalks and every street corner... from Black Friday through New Year's... they're broadcast inside and out, they stick in our heads, they are parodied and rewritten, and yet many of us, even as we sing along, don't give much thought to what the words mean.
Despite the successful efforts of nonsexist language reform, the word "freshman" persists on college campuses. On the Chronicle of Higher Education's Lingua Franca blog, University of Michigan English professor Anne Curzan considers why this is and weighs the alternatives. Read her article here
In case you haven't heard, today is "Cyber Monday," the day that retailers have decided we should all be flocking to make online purchases for our holiday gift list. Last year, Ben Zimmer explained how the advent of "Black Friday" led to the branding of "Cyber Monday" and other days in the Holy Week of shopping.
On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, Americans kick off the holiday shopping season with a bang. We look back to a Word Routes column by lexicographer Ben Zimmer exploring the origins of the phrase "Black Friday." It is not, as many believe, the day when retailers' balance sheets change from red to black.
Oxford Dictionaries has named selfie
its Word of the Year, bringing a great deal of attention to the trendy word. As it turns out, this social-media-friendly term for a photograph of oneself first cropped up in Australia, where the "-ie" ending is often used to form new words.
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
, and of course, twerk
. Read the full announcement from Oxford University Press here
It's time once again for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). As the website explains, it's "for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved." Visit the NaNoWriMo website
to learn more.