9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 370 Articles

In the wake of the Scripps National Spelling Bee's announcement Tuesday that vocabulary questions will now be included in the Bee, quiz yourself on sample questions here.  Continue reading...
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Legendary film critic Roger Ebert died yesterday after a protracted battle with cancer. He leaves behind a prodigious record of film commentary, but one of his most delightful efforts is his "Glossary of Movie Terms" for Roger Ebert's Video Companion (later expanded into Ebert's Little Movie Glossary). With help from readers, Ebert compiled a lexicon of the silliest movie clich├ęs. Here's a sampling.  Continue reading...
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Over the past couple of years, I've done several columns on massive dictionaries that have been recently completed or published, like the Dictionary of American Regional English and Green's Dictionary of Slang. Unfortunately, not all lexicographical projects have such a happy ending.  Continue reading...
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Spring has sprung, and we have some seasonally appropriate wordplay in this month's puzzle. Figure it out and you could win a Visual Thesaurus T-shirt!  Continue reading...
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Gosh-All-Potomac! 10 Great Minced Oaths

"Minced oaths," Arika Okrent of Mental Floss reminds us, are "creative substitutions" of taboo expressions, and English used to be full of them. Okrent lists ten entertaining ones, including "G. Rover Cripes!" and "Gosh-All-Potomac!" See the whole list here.
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The NCAA College Basketball Tournament, nicknamed "March Madness," is in full swing again, and some early-round upsets have spelled bad news for those betting on chalk, meaning the favorites in the tournament. How did the term chalk come to be associated with teams favored by oddsmakers? A Word Routes column by Ben Zimmer has the answer.  Continue reading...
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Obsolete Words Worth Reviving?

Some words that have fallen into disuse are due for a revival. Recently, the blog Jezebel compiled "18 uncommon or obsolete words that we think may have died early," including curglaff ("the shock felt in bathing when one first plunges into the cold water") and resistentialism (the seemingly spiteful behavior shown by inanimate objects). Check out the complete list here.
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9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 370 Articles