You're right on the money if you guess that this month's Lounge has something to do with nouns. Specifically, we've been digging up data on these very three nouns — person, place, thing
— as a result of hearing a news snippet on the radio a few weeks ago, when a speaker characterized a situation as "a Kumbaya thing." Huh? What exactly is a Kumbaya thing
"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.
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.
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.
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
, etc.) but we lack a handy term to designate them: snaptos
? In any case, this month's Lounge is a rundown of our lookouts' pickups.
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.