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Blog Excerpts

Introducing "Lexicon Valley"

Mike Vuolo, a producer for the NPR show "On the Media," has started a new podcast about language called "Lexicon Valley." For his first installment, he chats with OTM host Bob Garfield about the history of the curious "rule" against ending a sentence in a preposition. Slate is hosting the podcast, which you can listen to here.
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When The New York Times was at its former site just off Times Square, and before the days of computers, when reporters clacked away on typewriters in a newsroom the size of an aircraft carrier flight deck, my high school journalism class and I toured the building annually, visiting the layout department, the newsroom and the press room.  Continue reading...
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As it has done for the past couple of years, the New York Times analytics department has kept track of which words readers of the Times website click on the most to look up definitions. At the top of the leaderboard this year are such stumpers as panegyric, immiscible, and Manichean. How well do you know the thorniest Times vocab?  Continue reading...
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If you were watching "This Week with Christiane Amanpour" on ABC Sunday morning, you saw a high-minded historical discussion of the U.S. Constitution. But you also might have caught an unusual media moment, when Amanpour, responding to Harvard University professor Jill Lepore, commented that Ben Franklin "was amazingly perspicacious when this Constitution was signed." As Amanpour spoke, a graphic popped up on the screen giving a dictionary definition for the word perspicacious.  Continue reading...
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One of the great pleasures of Twitter is @FakeAPStylebook, which sends up the Associated Press Stylebook with hilariously terrible writing tips. Now the masterminds behind the tweets, known as The Bureau Chiefs, have a whole book of phony style advice: Write More Good. Here we present an excerpt adapted from their chapter on punctuation and grammar. Proceed with caution.  Continue reading...
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The editors of The Associated Press Stylebook recently announced some changes to the Bible of copy editors. Among their pronouncements: e-mail would lose its hyphen, and cell phone would lose its space. Merrill Perlman, who writes the "Language Corner" column for Columbia Journalism Review, gives us the full rundown.  Continue reading...

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The Internet may be the new newspaper, but it's also become the new dictionary, and the two are inextricably linked: when news breaks, people rush online to find out what it means, and whether it's a noun or a verb.  Continue reading...
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2 3 4 5 6 Displaying 22-28 of 90 Articles