8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 93 Articles

William Safire passed away over the weekend at the age of 79, and his loss is felt particularly strongly by those who loyally followed his "On Language" column in the New York Times Magazine for the past three decades. Safire retired from his Pulitzer Prize-winning political column for the Times in 2005, but he continued to relish his role as "language maven" to the very end. He was not simply a pundit on matters political and linguistic, however: he was also an extremely generous man, both publicly in his philanthropic work with the Dana Foundation and privately with friends and colleagues.  Continue reading...
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How Did People Sound in 1963?

The anachronistic dictionary that showed up recently on "Mad Men" was just the tip of the iceberg. Linguist John McWhorter argues that the supposedly authentic TV drama doesn't really capture how Americans spoke in the early '60s. Read all about it on his New Republic blog.
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The makers of the critically acclaimed TV drama "Mad Men" pride themselves on their meticulous attention to authentic period detail, lovingly recreating the early 1960s world of Madison Avenue admen. The show's prop masters are charged with getting every little thing right, from the prices on receipts to the secretaries' restrictive undergarments. So it's always a bit of a surprise to discover an anachronism lurking on the "Mad Men" set. The most recent episode featured one such historical goof, though only die-hard dictionary buffs would have noticed.  Continue reading...
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"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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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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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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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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8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 93 Articles