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Blog Excerpts

"Fail" Ever Upwards

Last Sunday, Visual Thesaurus executive producer Ben Zimmer filled in for William Safire's "On Language" column in the New York Times Magazine, writing all about the word fail in its current use as a noun and interjection. Hear Ben talk more about the success of fail in an interview on the NPR show Future Tense.
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Blog Excerpts

Stephen Fry: So Wrong It's Right

British comedian and public intellectual Stephen Fry has kicked off a new series of his BBC Radio 4 program on the English language, "Fry's English Delight." In "So Wrong It's Right," Fry "examines how 'wrong' English can become right English." Intrigued? You can hear the whole thing online, at least for the next week.
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Blog Excerpts

Olbermann Salutes Ben Zimmer

For his debunking of the myth that Swedish and Dutch news anchors are called "Cronkiters," Visual Thesaurus executive producer Ben Zimmer was named "second best person in the world" on Keith Olbermann's MSNBC show "Countdown." Watch the video here!
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Blog Excerpts

More on the Myth of "Cronkiters"

In his latest Word Routes column, Visual Thesaurus editor Ben Zimmer looked into an anecdote widely reported in the obituaries of Walter Cronkite: that in Sweden (or Holland) news anchors are known as "Cronkiters" (or "Kronkiters"). You can hear Ben talk more about the "Cronkiters" legend on the NPR program "On The Media," airing this weekend. Check your local radio listings for air times, or listen online here.
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Last week, after the death of Walter Cronkite, I wrote about how two words seemed irrevocably linked to the great newsman: avuncular and anchorman. Obituaries claimed that the term anchorman was first coined to refer to Cronkite, but as I wrote in Slate, this isn't exactly true: there were earlier "anchormen" on television, even if they didn't play quite the same coordinating role as Cronkite and his emulators. The Associated Press obituary, which was picked up by news outlets around the world, followed up the anchorman claim with another linguistic nugget about Cronkite, and this one is on even shakier factual ground.  Continue reading...
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In the outpouring of remembrances since the passing of Walter Cronkite on Friday, two polysyllabic words beginning with "a" have proved to be inextricably linked to "the most trusted man in America": avuncular and anchorman. It's hard to describe Mr. Cronkite without using one or the other, or preferably both.  Continue reading...
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Reports of the demise of the crossword puzzle have been greatly exaggerated, says Visual Thesaurus puzzlemaster Brendan Emmett Quigley. Brendan — whose puzzles appear regularly in the New York Times, Paste, and The Onion, as well as on his own blog — responds to the latest doom and gloom about the future of crosswords with a note of optimism. Far from being a crossword-killer, Brendan argues, the Web is attracting bigger audiences to puzzle-solving than ever before.  Continue reading...
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8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 90 Articles