8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 782 Articles

The Plain Writing Act, which Congress passed into law in 2010, is well intentioned. Too much public writing — that includes government, business, and legal writing — is confusing and disorganized. But the law can't work, because language can't be legislated.  Continue reading...
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Last summer I wrote a lot about zombie rules, usage rules that really aren't rules but that we teach, follow, and pass along with little thought anyway. I have two more zombies to share with you, about using the verbs curate and reveal.  Continue reading...
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Welcome to another roundup of the euphemisms — new and old, fresh and stale, sweet and salty — that have lately come to my attention. I hope they tickle your funny bone and baffle your think bone.  Continue reading...
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If you read the Visual Thesaurus Word of the Day you know that it often explores word origins. Even without keeping count, you are probably vaguely aware that the language mentioned more often than any other besides English is Latin. Statistics about the English lexicon reflect this.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Dog Blends, from Wienerhuahuas to Peekapoos

One of the commercials run during the Super Bowl this year was one from Audi featuring an imagined "Doberhuahua," a cross between a Doberman and a Chihuahua. But as VT contributor Mark Peters explained on OUPblog, real-life canine hybrids often have blended names that are just as fanciful, whether it's "wienerhuahua" or "peekapoo." Read Mark's blog post here.
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After the Seattle Seahawks shellacked the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl last night, the Seahawks players, coaches, and owners all made sure to thank "the twelfth man," as the team's boisterous fans have come to be collectively known. But the Seahawks only have the right to use that phrase because of a licensing agreement worked out with Texas A&M University, the trademark holders. Texas A&M claims the expression goes back to a legendary 1922 game, but its true history is far more complex.  Continue reading...
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Many paradoxes are tied up with language, specifically language's ability for self-reference. This self-reference causes a loop it can be difficult to get out of. Beyond creating paradoxes, it also raises the question of whether the individual sounds in words mean things.  Continue reading...
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8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 782 Articles