7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 109 Articles

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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"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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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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7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 109 Articles