Visual Thesaurus contributor James Harbeck
recently appeared on NPR's Weekend Edition to give a phonetic breakdown of noises that teenagers often make. Listen to the segment here
, and read more about teenage sounds on The Week here
. Breathy-voiced long low back unrounded vowel with advanced tongue root, anyone?
Los Angeles Times tech reporter Chris O'Brien has discovered that the favorite word among techie types is "delight": "A squishy, subjective, hard-to-pin-down term. So daringly unquantifiable, so proudly immeasurable. And now, suddenly, all the rage in data-driven Silicon Valley." Read O'Brien's delightful piece here
With Baz Luhrmann's movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
arriving in theaters, this week has been full of Gatsby
talk. Online commentators have been writing about words coined or popularized by Fitzgerald, the slang of the 1920s "flapper" era, and even the name Gatsby
In an essay on writing in last week's The New Yorker, John McPhee describes drawing boxes around "perfectly O.K." words in a search for the "mot juste." Meanwhile, Virginia Woolf tells us words are a messy tangle that will always elude our best efforts to tie them down.
The language technology company Idibon recently launched a blog, and one interesting contribution comes from Tyler Schnoebelen, who has data-mined the titles of nearly 40,000 songs that have appeared on Billboard's pop charts from 1890 to 2012. It turns out that when it comes to song titles, "love" is most definitely in the air.
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."
"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