2 3 4 5 6 Displaying 22-28 of 67 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...

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...

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...

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...

I can't get through a column without citing Green's Dictionary of Slang. This biggest-ever slang dictionary, edited by Jonathon Green and published last year, is my favorite book. Here's a bevy of dodges, evasions, and ludicrous turns of phrase I learned through Green's. They are a type of poetry: a poetry of poppycock.  Continue reading...

Before pushing on with this month's batch of old and new euphemisms, I'd feel remiss if I didn't give my take on job creator, which the American Dialect Society voted 2011's Most Euphemistic term of the year.  Continue reading...

Sadly, I won't be in Portland for the American Dialect Society's meeting, that annual gathering of learned lexicographers and amateur wordinistas. This is an outrage. What foul conspiracy of left-wing moonbats, right-wing wingnuts, and middle-wing batnuts conspired to keep me away?  Continue reading...

2 3 4 5 6 Displaying 22-28 of 67 Articles