9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 465 Articles

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.  Continue reading...

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.  Continue reading...

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."  Continue reading...

A Taxing Day for Dictionaries

"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.

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...

9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 465 Articles