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Blog Excerpts

What's the Deal with "Auld Lang Syne"?

Ben Trawick-Smith is an actor with a deep interest in English dialects. On his Dialect Blog, he takes on a range of interesting linguistic issues. His latest post is perfect for the new year: it's all about the song that we butcher every New Year's Eve, "Auld Lang Syne." Get enlightened about the Scottish tune here.
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Celebrate the National Day on Writing

October 20 is the National Day on Writing, an annual celebration of all things writerly. You can take part in the festivities on Twitter by using the hashtag #whyIwrite. For more information see this post from Katherine Schulten of the New York Times Learning Network, one of the sponsors of this year's event.
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Lingua Franca: Language and Writing in Academe

The Chronicle of Higher Education has launched a group blog called "Lingua Franca: Language and Writing in Academe." The all-star lineup of bloggers includes Geoffrey K. Pullum, Ben Yagoda, Allan Metcalf, Carol Fisher Saller, and Lucy Ferris. In the first post, Metcalf debunks the notion that sentences should never start with "and" or "but." Read it here.

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Words With No Letters?

Is it possible for a word to have no alphabetic letters? Stan Carey, a regular Visual Thesaurus contributor, considers the question on his blog, Sentence First. Among the no-letter words he examines are +1 ("plus one"), 1337 ("leet"), @ ("at"), and ♥ ("heart"). Read his blog post here.
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Woot! New Words from the Concise OED

The latest edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (not to be confused with the giant OED itself) has announced some of the latest words to make the cut. Among them are jeggings, mankini, retweet, sexting, and woot. Don't know what these words mean? Check out the announcement of the new words on OUPblog, and read more about the century-old dictionary here.
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What is the most beautiful word in the English language? This question was recently posed on GalleyCat, the Mediabistro blog covering the publishing industry. GalleyCat has its own suggestions, and recommends that readers use the Visual Thesaurus to map out their own favorite words.  Continue reading...
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Words of 1911

On his site Wordorigins.org, David Wilton has started a series of posts on "words first used in English for a particular year," according to the Oxford English Dictionary. In his first post, he begins with the year 1911. Did you know that air force, floozy, lettergram, mozzarella, and taxi were all first documented a century ago? Read Wilton's post here.
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 204 Articles