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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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Blog Excerpts

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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"Look it up!" used to be a directive mainly about words in dictionaries; these days it's as likely to be about information on the Internet. A common experience in both cases is that you don't always find what you're looking for. This month in the Lounge we look at some of the overlapping reasons why.  Continue reading...
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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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7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 111 Articles