8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 112 Articles

Fred R. Shapiro, the editor of The Yale Book of Quotations, is constantly on the lookout for new quotations that might make the cut for the next edition of his authoritative quotation dictionary. Below, find out what he thinks are the top ten quotations of 2009.  Continue reading...
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A couple of weeks ago, Merriam-Webster announced their top words of 2009 based on the intensity of lookups to its online dictionary and thesaurus. Now Dictionary.com has their own announcement of the most looked-up words of the past year. Though the main list is full of usual suspects like affect and effect (perennial stumpers even for native English speakers), the "top gainer" is a very unusual word: esurient, meaning 'extremely hungry; desirous; greedy.' What might explain the ravenous interest in this obscure term?  Continue reading...
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The latest selection for 2009 Word of the Year comes from the good people at Merriam-Webster. Unlike other dictionary publishers that anoint an annual word, Merriam-Webster bases its winner and runners-up on actual user lookups to its online dictionary and thesaurus. So instead of the novelties selected by its competitors (distracted driving from Webster's New World, unfriend from New Oxford American), Merriam-Webster's choice is an old word that worked its way into current events: admonish.  Continue reading...
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Quadrivial Quandary

Software engineer Rudi Seitz has set up a fun challenge he calls Quadrivial Quandary: "Each day we present four words from our favorite dictionary sites. Your challenge is to use them all in a sentence that illustrates their meanings." Join in the logophilia here.
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The New Oxford American Dictionary has announced its Word of the Year for 2009: it's unfriend, defined as "to remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook." Readers of this space will be quite familiar with the term, as I discussed it along with similar un-verbs on Word Routes in May and then again in September as a followup to my On Language column in the New York Times Magazine, "The Age of Undoing." It's nice to feel ahead of the curve on this one, but truth be told, unfriending has been going on for many years.  Continue reading...
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Leave it to lexicographers to sneak a word like hypallage into a press release. The occasion is the Word of the Year from Webster's New World Dictionary (yes, it's Word of the Year season already). Webster's New World chose distracted driving as its Word of the Year for 2009, defined as "use of a cellphone or other portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle." The press release notes that distracted driving features a "linguistic catch" that is "frequently seen in poetry": hypallage. Say what?  Continue reading...
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The Case for Dictionary Day

In the Boston Globe, lexicographer Erin McKean makes a compelling case for turning Dictionary Day (Noah Webster's birthday on October 16th) into a national holiday. Read her column here.
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8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 112 Articles