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In honor of the Dictionary of American Regional English winning the American Library Association's 2013 award for excellence in reference books, Mark Peters is going back to the beginning of the alphabet to uncover a trove of regional euphemisms.  Continue reading...
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Late last year, there was some controversy in the media over a new book by Sarah Ogilvie about the Oxford English Dictionary's historical coverage of foreign words. The controversy turned out to be a tempest in a teapot, overshadowing the worthy book behind it. Here, Mark Peters has an appreciation of Ogilvie's Words of the World.  Continue reading...
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2012, the year of the Mayan non-pocalypse, has passed away, joined the heavenly choir, bit the big one, bought the farm, joined the heavenly choir, taken a dirt nap, joined the majority, and croaked. Let's bury it with terms of an appropriate nature: euphemisms for death.  Continue reading...
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Pardon my all-black clothes. I'm in pre-mourning because one of my favorite shows ever — 30 Rock — is on the verge of ending. I'll dearly miss this show for its potent satire of TV, the (literally) blue hallucinations of Tracy Jordan, the narcissistic psychopathy of Jenna, the performance of a lifetime by Alec Baldwin, and especially Tina Fey's role as star and creator.  Continue reading...
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Everyone likes puppies, cookies, Batman, and humorous quotations. Therefore, the fourth edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations, edited by the late Ned Sherrin, should be enjoyed by everyone. This Brit-heavy volume leans closer to the witty than the funny, but it's both a serious reference book and a hall-of-fame bathroom book.  Continue reading...
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Let's talk angels.

The angels I'm referring to are close to the ground, though mostly inspired by the high-flying, heavenly sort: these angels are all euphemisms. Euphemistic senses of angel fly all over the lexical wilderness, though most of the following would be unwelcome on a shoulder.  Continue reading...
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As a euphemism columnist, I admire the work of anyone who catches dodges, evasions, and Orwellian whoppers in their butterfly nets. So I was thrilled, during the Republican National Convention, to find The Week's list of ways the media didn't say veep candidate Paul Ryan was a liar.  Continue reading...
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4 5 6 7 8 Displaying 36-42 of 98 Articles