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Blog Excerpts

Happy Thesaurus Day!

January 18th is celebrated as Thesaurus Day to honor the birthday of the author of the first thesaurus, Peter Mark Roget. Get into the spirit by reading our two-part interview with Roget biographer Joshua Kendall here and here. Also check out an ode to the thesaurus penned by Franklin P. Adams here and Johnny Carson's hilarious "Funeral for a Thesaurus Editor" sketch here.
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The American Dialect Society has selected its Word of the Year for 2012, and the winner was a bit of a surprise. It wasn't fiscal cliff, the ubiquitous term in the news from Capitol Hill. And it wasn't YOLO, the youthful acronym for "You Only Live Once" that quickly rose (and just as quickly fell) this past year. No, the ultimate champion was that mainstay of the Twittersphere, hashtag.  Continue reading...
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At the American Dialect Society's annual conference in Boston, we took a break from paper presentations to select nominations for the Word of the Year. As chair of the New Words Committee, I presided over the nominating session on Thursday. Winners will be selected from the different categories on Friday evening, culminating in the vote for the overall Word of the Year. Here's the list of nominees.  Continue reading...
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2012, the year of the Mayan non-pocalypse, has passed away, joined the heavenly choir, bit the big one, bought the farm, joined the heavenly choir, taken a dirt nap, joined the majority, and croaked. Let's bury it with terms of an appropriate nature: euphemisms for death.  Continue reading...
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As 2012 draws to a close, we're celebrating with a New Year's-themed crossword. Figure it out and you could win a Visual Thesaurus T-shirt!  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Does Santa Have a Gender Issue?

"Santa Claus is male, so why isn't he Saint instead of Santa? Does he have a gender issue?" On the Grammarphobia blog, Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellerman answer that holiday question by looking at how "Santa Claus" entered American English from Dutch. Read their explanation here.
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Blog Excerpts

A Christmas Potpourri

If you're looking for some reading material this Yuletide season in between sips of eggnog, check out some Visual Thesaurus articles from Christmases past. Merrill Perlman explained the history of some seasonal expressions. Mike Pope considered phrases popularized by Christmas movies. Nancy Friedman told us about made-up holidays. And Ben Zimmer revealed the origins of "eggnog," holiday grog.
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9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 354 Articles