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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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Blog Excerpts

Most Looked-Up Words in the Times

The New York Times has been keeping track of the words that users of the Times website click on the most to look up definitions. The word with the most lookups in 2009 is the Latin term sui generis. Nieman Journalism Lab presents the words and crunches the numbers.
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On July 7, 2009, NBC Universal's Sci Fi Channel — the network responsible for the hit series "Battlestar Galactica" and such original movies as "Ice Spiders," "Android Apocalypse" and "Mansquito" — will complete a radical rebranding process. When it emerges from the laboratory, it will offer a retooled programming menu and a new name: Syfy.  Continue reading...
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8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 88 Articles