7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 113 Articles

News recently broke about words like chillax and vuvuzela getting added to the Oxford Dictionary of English. Merrill Perlman, who writes the "Language Corner" column for Columbia Journalism Review, noticed that many reports of the story couldn't get the name of the dictionary right. Here is her guide for the perplexed.  Continue reading...
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A lot of silly things get written about the craft of dictionary-making, but a story that appeared last week in the London-based Daily Telegraph just might be the most nonsensical article about lexicography in recent memory. The breathless headline reads, "Secret vault of words rejected by the Oxford English Dictionary uncovered." What a scoop! Has the Telegraph blown the lid off a cabal of Dictionary Illuminati worthy of a Dan Brown novel? Yeah, not so much.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

How to Speak American

The monumental Dictionary of American Regional English is finally nearing completion after 45 years. In Newsweek DARE editor Joan Houston Hall writes that despite reports of American English becoming homogeneous, "DARE's research shows that American English is as varied as ever." Read Hall's column here.
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Wendalyn Nichols, editor of the Copyediting newsletter, writes:

Recently on the Copyediting blog, I made a comment about Flag Day, saying we celebrated it rather than observed it. This was actually a follow-up to an earlier comment about Memorial Day, when I noted that it was to be observed rather than celebrated.  Continue reading...
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The latest quarterly update of the Oxford English Dictionary's online revision project covers the alphabetical range Rh to rococoesque, and it includes a fascinatingly complex entry for a seemingly simple word: rock, used as a verb. From the rocking of cradles in Old English sources to the rocking of microphones in rap lyrics, this entry has it all.  Continue reading...
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Noah Webster and the Bee

In the Wall Street Journal, John Murray uses the National Spelling Bee as a jumping off point for exploring the pivotal role that the lexicographer Noah Webster played in the development of American English, and how his faith informed his work. Check out Murray's column here.
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Last month, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin announced that it had acquired a dictionary owned by David Foster Wallace, as part of its extensive Wallace archive. Wallace's copy of the American Heritage Dictionary was full of words that the late writer had circled. The Ransom Center released a sampling of Wallace's circled words, but now Slate's Browbeat blog has revealed the complete list. It's a fascinating collection.  Continue reading...
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7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 113 Articles