9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 461 Articles

In the wake of the Scripps National Spelling Bee's announcement Tuesday that vocabulary questions will now be included in the Bee, quiz yourself on sample questions here.  Continue reading...

Last week, usage guru Bryan A. Garner collected a list of business-speak or "bizspeak" to avoid and posted it to the Harvard Business Review blog. What he describes as "vogueish" and "hyperformal" vocabulary makes an easy target.  Continue reading...

Legendary film critic Roger Ebert died yesterday after a protracted battle with cancer. He leaves behind a prodigious record of film commentary, but one of his most delightful efforts is his "Glossary of Movie Terms" for Roger Ebert's Video Companion (later expanded into Ebert's Little Movie Glossary). With help from readers, Ebert compiled a lexicon of the silliest movie clich├ęs. Here's a sampling.  Continue reading...

The city of Providence, RI is embarking on a bold initiative to narrow the "word gap": young children in families of lower socioeconomic status tend to hear fewer words in their home environment than higher-income counterparts, leading to inequalities in academic success when they enter school. Providence has won a $5 million grant to address this problem by means of a high-tech vocabulary intervention program, as our own Ben Zimmer writes in his latest Boston Globe column.  Continue reading...

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...

9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 461 Articles