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Blog Excerpts

How To Speak Teen

Visual Thesaurus contributor James Harbeck recently appeared on NPR's Weekend Edition to give a phonetic breakdown of noises that teenagers often make. Listen to the segment here, and read more about teenage sounds on The Week here. Breathy-voiced long low back unrounded vowel with advanced tongue root, anyone?
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Much of the buzz leading up to the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee had to do with the first-ever inclusion of vocabulary questions in the off-stage portions of the competition. But in the end, it came down to a traditional spelling face-off over tricky words originating from other languages. Arvind Mahankali of Bayside Hills, New York had been stumped by German-derived words in the last two Bees, but this time a German word was his salvation.  Continue reading...
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Two hundred eighty-one young contestants took on the new-and-improved preliminaries of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which for the first time included questions about words' definitions along with their spellings. After the dust had cleared, 42 of them managed to make it to Thursday's semifinals.  Continue reading...
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It's time once again for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and the big news going into this year's competition is the inclusion of vocabulary questions along with the traditional spelling questions. Even though the new multiple-choice questions testing contestants' knowledge of definitions will only appear in the off-stage computerized portions of the Bee, it's still a controversial shift in format.  Continue reading...
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The Scripps National Spelling Bee is being held next week, and to celebrate the occasion we have a spelling-themed crossword. Figure it out and you could win a Visual Thesaurus T-shirt!  Continue reading...
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An Inside Higher Ed article recently quoted Duke University physics professor Steffen Bass as describing the foolish stance of some of his colleagues as "bologna." Prof. Bass surely said baloney, a spelling that represents an Americanized pronunciation of bologna sausage, and it also came to mean "nonsense" in the 1920s.  Continue reading...
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Do gentlemen exist anymore? The word feels old-fashioned and paleolithic in the era of dudes, bros, and creeps. However, the word gentleman has a long, vibrant history as a euphemism. That history is worth celebrating. In the spirit of a recent column on angels, here's a look at the critters and crimes gentleman has coddled and concealed.  Continue reading...
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5 6 7 8 9 Displaying 43-49 of 352 Articles