September 19, 2012
Avast, ye mateys! Did you know that September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? Arrrr, it's true! We've got some suggestions for sounding properly piratical. Continue reading...
Best Word Ever: "Diphthong"?
September 13, 2012
For months now, copywriter/illustrator Ted McCagg has been holding a "Best Word Ever" competition on his blog, pairing off words in single-elimination showdowns. Winners have been whimsically selected in different brackets, ultimately leading to a final round pitting gherkin against diphthong. And now diphthong has emerged victorious. For more on the curious word, see Neal Whitman's column, "Oy, You Diphthong!"
Celebrating Labor (and Labour) Day
September 3, 2012
On the first Monday in September, the United States observes Labor Day, while Canadians celebrate Labour Day. If you want to know why labour is the accepted spelling in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries like Canada, while Americans prefer labor (and color, favor, honor, humor, and neighbor), check out this classic Word Routes column by Ben Zimmer.
August 24, 2012
We were, needless to say, absolutely thrilled to learn that the Visual Thesaurus has inspired a short film, fittingly titled, "Word Cloud." The film was created by Claire Scholz of Rapid City, South Dakota, and stars Claire and her granddaughter Anna. It was prepared for a local family-run film festival, and we're honored to feature it here on our site as well. Continue reading...
August 23, 2012
Another week, another update from a dictionary publisher reflecting recent additions to the lexicon. Last week, it was Merriam-Webster rolling out new words, including such eyebrow-raisers as f-bomb and sexting. Now comes Oxford Dictionaries Online with their quarterly update, making space for some trendy neologisms, including lolz, ridic, and the nefarious mwahahaha. Continue reading...
Why Do People Love Their Language Peeves?
August 22, 2012
On WBUR's Cognoscenti blog, Jan Freeman (formerly the language columnist for the Boston Globe) writes: "In the 15 years I've been writing about the English language, I've learned a lot, but one question remains as baffling as ever: Why do people love their language peeves so dearly?" To find out her answer, click here.
Connected Educators and Their Personal Learning Networks
August 6, 2012
August is Connected Educators Month, and to celebrate, the New York Times Learning Network has rounded up 33 educators to explain who is in their "Personal Learning Network" (PLN). Among those responding are Visual Thesaurus executive producer Ben Zimmer and curriculum development director Georgia Scurletis. Check out all the responses here.