Topic : Blogs
Most Looked-Up Words in the Times
June 12, 2009
The New York Times has been keeping track of the words that users of the Times website click on the most to look up definitions. The word with the most lookups in 2009 is the Latin term sui generis. Nieman Journalism Lab presents the words and crunches the numbers.
Going Down a Bomb
June 8, 2009
If you were baffled by Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle's use of the expression "going down a bomb," as discussed in this Word Routes column, then wonder no more. Lynne Murphy explains the idiom on her blog Separated by a Common Language. Lynne also makes sense of such Briticisms as "he looks a right twit" and "going down a treat."
June 2, 2009
Why say "blizzard" when you could say "snow-mageddon"? And why refer to the "swine flu outbreak" when you could say "a-pork-alypse"? Visual Thesaurus contributor Mark Peters considers some catastrophic coinages in his latest column for Good.
Know Your '90s Catchphrases
May 22, 2009
"Psyche!" "Don't go there!" "Take a chill pill!" "Not!" The Children of the '90s blog takes a loving look back at catchphrases that "enjoyed a substantial heyday before being put to rest for being insanely irritating."
May 20, 2009
How do you pluralize the word "thesaurus"? Both "thesauruses" and "thesauri" are perfectly acceptable. But would you believe "thesaurusi"? It's rare, but it's out there. Brett Reynolds, professor of English at Humber College, investigates the pluralization error on his blog English, Jack.
The Rise and Fall of "Tricia"
May 12, 2009
New research shows that the faster a baby name like "Tricia" gets popular, the faster it fades away. And the same principle applies to other fads and fashions. Wired Science reports.
How Old is "@"?
May 8, 2009
The now-familiar symbol "@" is nearly five centuries old: it shows up in a 1536 letter from an Italian merchant. (Back then it was used to indicate a unit of measure, the amphora.) The New York Times Bits blog has more.