5 6 7 8 9 Displaying 43-49 of 96 Articles

I usually tiptoe away from the gruesome side of life, preferring to read about kittens and puppies playing peekaboo with babies and bunnies. I avoid horrific, soul-numbing, existentially meaningless stories about topics such as catastrophes and Kardashians. However, one such story — the Florida face-eater episode — had one redeeming feature: the spreading of bath salts as a Euphemism of the Year candidate.  Continue reading...
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If you enjoyed Michael Adams' Slang: The People's Poetry, make some room on your shelf for another compelling look at slangology: The Life of Slang by Julie Coleman. Coleman's book is an enjoyable, thorough look at the purposes and particulars of slang that should be required reading, especially for newcomers to the topic. This is a textbook textbook on slang.  Continue reading...
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Do you prefer artisan malarkey, artisan-style poppycock, or artisanal mumbo-jumbo?

All three are readily available these days, as it seems every grocery-store aisle, bakery, coffee shop, and restaurant is selling artisan cheese, artisan sandwiches, or the bizarrely labeled artisan-style bread. Even Dunkin' Donuts is, preposterously, selling artisan bagels.  Continue reading...
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Mark Peters reviews The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs: "When you talk about proverbs, it's hard not to add the adjective old: we tend to think of proverbs as remnants of the bygone days of yore, not the present days of non-yore."  Continue reading...
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I'm no peevologist. I will gladly begin a sentence with a conjunction and end it with a preposition. I love the word moist, and I couldn't care less about irregardless. I write about euphemisms because I love them, not because I want to see them wiped from the face of the Earth.  Continue reading...
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I am a lazy but honest man, so I have to admit my first thought when looking at the The Language Wars by Henry Hitchings was not so noble. Noting the lengthiness (300+ pages) and a small font size, I thought, "Uh oh. Why did I agree to review this? I could be watching Justified." As I plowed into the book, my fears turned out to be unwarranted. In fact, my fears turned out to be ridiculous, as fears tend to be.  Continue reading...

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One of the happiest occasions in dictionary and word-nerd history occurred recently when the Dictionary of American Regional English — a project five decades in the making — published its final volume. This historical dictionary of words and phrases that do not ring out from sea to shining sea is one of the most ambitious works of lexicography ever. To call it a wealth of lexical riches would be the understatement of the eon. It is a whoopensocker ("Something extraordinary of its kind").  Continue reading...
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5 6 7 8 9 Displaying 43-49 of 96 Articles