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Blog Excerpts

Most Looked-Up Words in the Times, 2010

As it did last year, The New York Times has tabulated the words that readers of the Times website click on the most to look up definitions. This year's leaders include inchoate, profligacy, sui generis, and austerity. Read all about it on the "After Deadline" blog here.
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One of the qualities of New York Times writing is that it not only informs clearly (almost all the time), concisely (almost all the time), and gracefully (almost all the time) — but that it delights. On almost every page, well-turned phrases, alliterations, similes and word play amuse and delight readers. My favorite Times verbal delight, though, is the headline that contains an allusion to a song.  Continue reading...
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Top Seven Journalistic Cliches

Chris Pash, who works for Dow Jones Asia-Pacific, has been using the Factiva news database to track the most overused journalistic expressions. He's come up with a list of the top seven cliches, from "at the end of the day" to "concerned residents." Read all about it here.
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This past weekend I was pleased to take part in the annual conference of the American Copy Editors Society, held this year in Philadelphia. I was on a lively panel entitled "Your Grammar Questions Answered," with Merrill Perlman, who managed the copy desks at The New York Times for many years, and Bill Walsh, multiplatform editor for The Washington Post. For an hour and half, the ACES crowd peppered us with all manner of grammar questions, from the well-worn to the unexpected.  Continue reading...
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Coming Up ACES

The annual conference of the American Copy Editors Society is in full swing, held this year in Philadelphia. Among the panels is one devoted to grammar questions, featuring Visual Thesaurus editor and New York Times language columnist Ben Zimmer. Even if you're not in Philly, you can follow the action on the ACES blog.
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"The Great Recession"?

The Associated Press style guide has given its official imprimatur to "The Great Recession" as a description for the global financial crisis that started in late 2007. Many other news organizations, particularly those in Europe, think that the AP is jumping the gun. Kathlyn Clore of the European Journalism Centre reports here.
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It's been a whirlwind week since the official announcement that I would be taking over the "On Language" column in the New York Times Magazine, the old stomping grounds of the late lamented Language Maven, William Safire. I'm grateful for all of the warm messages of congratulation I've received, and I also remain cognizant that in taking over Safire's column, I have extremely big shoes to fill.  Continue reading...
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5 6 7 8 9 Displaying 43-49 of 88 Articles