6 7 8 9 10 Displaying 50-56 of 113 Articles

"Look it up!" used to be a directive mainly about words in dictionaries; these days it's as likely to be about information on the Internet. A common experience in both cases is that you don't always find what you're looking for. This month in the Lounge we look at some of the overlapping reasons why.  Continue reading...
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When did shall go out of fashion as the first person marker for the future tense? Or was it ever in fashion? This month in the Lounge we look at the career of English's most mismanaged modal.  Continue reading...
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The National Museum of Language near Washington, D.C. is putting together an exhibit on the role of the War of 1812 in the development of American English, as we approach that war's bicentennial (or bicentenary, as they still say on the other side). In the Lounge we've been exploring ideas with the museum, and this month we wanted to share some of our findings.  Continue reading...
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At a scenic dropoff near the Lounge, whereunder flows the mighty torrent of English, we have lookouts posted whose job is to spot trends. Recently they have reported back on instances of a certain class of words that are ready for a closeup: a handful of nouns formed by fusing the two parts of a phrasal verb. Such words are legion in English (setback, breakdown, frameup, washout, etc.) but we lack a handy term to designate them: snaptos? pairups? glueons? In any case, this month's Lounge is a rundown of our lookouts' pickups.  Continue reading...
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A rose by any other name is . . . possibly hex FF E4 E1 or decimal 255 228 225. This month in the Lounge we look at the business and the pleasure of color names in English.  Continue reading...
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The Language Lounge removed to the Netherlands for a short break last month, with the specific mission of observing several of the various putative Dutch contributions to English on their native soil: Dutch courage, Dutch uncles, Dutch ovens, Dutch auctions, Dutch doors, Dutch hoes, and Dutch treats, to name a few.  Continue reading...
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In high school we studied a poem by Robert Frost called "Design." It deposited enduring fragments that echo in our mind from time to time, and recently we spent a quiet afternoon in the Poetry Corner of the Lounge to revisit the poem.  Continue reading...
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6 7 8 9 10 Displaying 50-56 of 113 Articles