8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 356 Articles

When people talk about whether a word is "in the dictionary," have you stopped to think about what "the dictionary" actually means? In the following excerpt from her new book How to Read a Word, Elizabeth Knowles takes readers on a brief tour of the dictionary and its historical authority, informed by the likes of Voltaire and Samuel Johnson.  Continue reading...
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I would love to say that the idea for Pub Speak: A Writer's Dictionary of Publishing Terms came to me as I was browsing dictionaries in a library in Rome, or speaking about book publishing with my favorite author in a French cafĂ©. But actually, the idea came to me while I sat on a hard plastic chair and flipped through a magazine in the waiting room of a car shop.  Continue reading...
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One of the great pleasures of Twitter is @FakeAPStylebook, which sends up the Associated Press Stylebook with hilariously terrible writing tips. Now the masterminds behind the tweets, known as The Bureau Chiefs, have a whole book of phony style advice: Write More Good. Here we present an excerpt adapted from their chapter on punctuation and grammar. Proceed with caution.  Continue reading...
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The prolific British language writer, David Crystal, has produced another winner: A Little Book of Language (now out in paperback), which Publishers Weekly calls "the perfect primer for anyone interested in the subject." In this excerpt, Crystal explains how language changes, from vocabulary to grammar.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Slang-orama!

In Sunday's New York Times Book Review, Visual Thesaurus editor Ben Zimmer has the back-page essay on the latest in slang dictionaries. You can read it online here, and you can listen to Ben's discussion with Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus in the weekly podcast here. Also check out Ben's Artsbeat blog post on a 1699 slang dictionary.
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Today, March 23, 2011, is the first annual OK Day, celebrating America's greatest word (or expression?) and most successful export.

It's not the first birthday of OK, of course. OK was born 172 years ago, in the Boston Morning Post of March 23, 1839. But it's the first celebration.  Continue reading...
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Last week we presented an excerpt from Robert Lane Greene's fascinating new book, You Are What You Speak, tracing the origins of "language sticklers" back to the early days of English. In this second excerpt, Greene concludes his history of sticklerism with the recent success of the book Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss.  Continue reading...
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8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 356 Articles