7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 357 Articles

Yesterday, October 16, was National Dictionary Day, celebrated annually on the birthday of the great American lexicographer Noah Webster. Today the "Webster" name is practically synonymous with dictionaries, but how did the first "Webster's Dictionary" come to be? In this excerpt from The Forgotten Founding Father, Joshua Kendall recounts the publication of Webster's Compendious Dictionary in 1806, the first dictionary to bear his name and the first to feature his "American" spelling.  Continue reading...
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Earlier this week we featured an excerpt from Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis, an entertaining look at the world of competitive Scrabble, now published in a tenth anniversary edition with a special afterword on the latest Scrabble developments. Here we present another excerpt from the afterword, about the raging debates over what words to include in the official Scrabble dictionary.  Continue reading...
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Ten years ago, Stefan Fatsis published the book Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players. Since then, Scrabble has become even more competitive, thanks in part to the publicity from Word Freak. Fatsis has just released a tenth anniversary edition, with an afterword on the last decade's developments. Here we present an excerpt from the afterword about an astounding match that "rocked the Scrabble world."  Continue reading...
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Earlier this week we featured an excerpt from the linguist John McWhorter's new book, What Language Is, in which he explains how the English language is essentially "disheveled." Here, in a second excerpt, McWhorter considers some questions that the chaotic history of English raises.  Continue reading...
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In his new book, What Language Is, the linguist John McWhorter takes the reader on a guided tour of language as it really is, not how we might assume it to be. One of his keys to understanding language the way a linguist does is to appreciate that it is inherently messy, or "disheveled," as he puts it. In this excerpt, McWhorter uses the history of English as his example of just how disheveled language can be.  Continue reading...
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Earlier this week, we featured an excerpt from Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little by Christopher Johnson, a branding expert who runs the website The Name Inspector. Here we continue Johnson's discussion of how "the crowded space of names might create a need for more complex ways to create names."  Continue reading...
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Christopher Johnson, a branding expert who runs the website The Name Inspector, has a new book out called Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little about how contemporary message-makers need to become "verbal miniaturists." In this excerpt, Johnson explains how "neologisms can be among the most powerful of micromessages."  Continue reading...
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7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 357 Articles