3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 143 Articles

I consider myself a reasonably fluent speaker of Fashionspeak, a dialect distinguished by peculiar adjectives ("statement" necklace, "boyfriend" jacket), enigmatic abbreviations (boho, bodycon, cami), and a bullying use of the imperative mood ("must-have," "dos and don'ts"). Nevertheless, I sometimes find myself staring in puzzlement at a fashion headline, trying to decode an unlikely usage of a word I thought I knew. This season, that word is "tribal."  Continue reading...

You've read the advice to writers: Strive for clarity! Make your meaning transparent! Your sentences should be lucid and understandable, your paragraphs logically constructed, your meaning readily accessible to your readers. Who could quarrel with that?  Continue reading...

In honor of Valentine's Day, let's revisit one of the most famous couples in the love-story canon: Romeo and Juliet. Remember how the prologue to Shakespeare's play introduces them? "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes / A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life."

Star-cross'd! Isn't it romantic?  Continue reading...

Of all the orthographic garnishes to be found among American brands, the most popular by far is the umlaut, the double dot that's common in German, Turkish, Swedish, and Finnish — and nonexistent in English. We can't help wondering: What's üp with that?  Continue reading...

It's high season for X-of-the-year lists, especially words of the year. I'll leave it to my fellow language observers to decide whether volatility, occupy, squeezed middle, tergiversate, or some other word best sums up the year's prevailing mood. For my part, I'm focusing on a different corner of the linguaverse: brand names of the year.  Continue reading...

If untraditional grammar drives you around the bend, I suggest you steer clear of automobile ads this season. In particular, you'll want to take a detour to avoid Mercedes-Benz's tagline for the 2012 C-class coupe: "More power. More style. More technology. Less doors." And for your own safety, please pull over to the shoulder if you chance upon an ad for the 2012 Honda Civic that proclaims "To each their own." You don't want to risk the road rage.  Continue reading...

In September, Domino's Pizza -- the second-largest pizza chain in the United States, with annual revenue approaching $1.5 billion -- introduced "Artisan Pizzas" to its 5,000 stores nationwide. Are you picturing skilled workers up to their elbows in whole-grain flour and locally sourced tomatoes, lovingly patting each pie into a charmingly irregular shape? Well, forget about it.  Continue reading...

3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 143 Articles