9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 129 Articles

Just in time for the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, linguist Neal Whitman has been thinking about a phrase that seems to guarantee victory: win-win situation. What does this "no-lose" proposition really mean?  Continue reading...

We welcome back linguist Neal Whitman, who has noticed that many educators are fond of "choice" language, as in "He made good choices." Neal plumbs the history of this usage and talks to teachers and administrators about how the words "choose" and "choice" have shifted in recent years.  Continue reading...

Jan Freeman, language columnist for the Boston Globe, has published a fascinating new book: an expanded edition of Write It Right, Ambrose Bierce's 1909 volume on English usage, "deciphered, appraised, and annotated for 21st-century readers." We caught up with Jan to ask how Bierce's century-old language peeves have held up, and what his work tells us about current usage struggles.  Continue reading...

Quotable Moments of '09

Fred R. Shapiro, the editor of The Yale Book of Quotations, is constantly on the lookout for new quotations that might make the cut for the next edition of his authoritative quotation dictionary. Below, find out what he thinks are the top ten quotations of 2009.  Continue reading...

Today is Veterans Day in the United States, and linguist Neal Whitman has been thinking about a question of military usage: if "50,000 troops" refers to 50,000 people, then does "one troop" refer to one person?  Continue reading...

In part two of our interview with usage expert Bryan A. Garner, we talk about a new feature in the newly published third edition of his authoritative guide, Garner's Modern American Usage: the Language-Change Index, an innovative approach to evaluating how linguistic innovations spread and become accepted over time — for better or for worse.  Continue reading...

Today, September 18th, is Samuel Johnson's 300th birthday. The English essayist, poet, novelist, and witty conversationalist whom we know mostly through the anecdotes recorded by his friend and biographer, James Boswell, and his other friends, became famous in his day for his two-volume Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1755. Dennis Baron, professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois, wishes Dr. Johnson a happy birthday — and a happy birthnight.  Continue reading...

9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 129 Articles