Etymology — the roots (or, etymologically speaking, seeds) of words — can sound like a pretty dry pursuit if you aren't a word farmer by trade. But knowing a word's derivation has all kinds of benefits. It can make you a better, more nuanced communicator, of course, and if you happen to find words fascinating and beautiful, it can heighten your, ahem, textual pleasure.  Continue reading...
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On July 7, 2009, NBC Universal's Sci Fi Channel — the network responsible for the hit series "Battlestar Galactica" and such original movies as "Ice Spiders," "Android Apocalypse" and "Mansquito" — will complete a radical rebranding process. When it emerges from the laboratory, it will offer a retooled programming menu and a new name: Syfy.  Continue reading...
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You say you're not familiar with text messaging? Well, all the kids are doing it. It's so much easier than talking on the phone, which, after all, requires the laborious movement of one's jaw and the ever-taxing production of sound.  Continue reading...
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"Don't use big words."

Despite the well-meaning attempts of our teachers to help us develop a thorough grasp of English, we are constantly discouraged from venturing outside the narrow bounds of ordinary language.

Use a "vocabulary word" in class and feel the withering mockery of your classmates; drop a few sophisticated phrases into your presentation and watch someone accuse you of being pretentious or deliberately aiming to confuse. Oooh, using big words.  Continue reading...
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