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Last week, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum held an online panel discussion entitled "The Name Game," in conjunction with their exhibition of sculptures by John Chamberlain, who gave his works highly unusual titles. The panel was asked, what makes a "good" name from the perspective of art, marketing, or linguistics? What functions does a name or title fulfill? Visual Thesaurus executive producer Ben Zimmer took part.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

It's Passive Voice Day. Let It Be Celebrated.

A holiday has been created out of thin air and promoted by a blogger named Shaun McCance: Passive Voice Day, to be celebrated by one and all today. Appreciation for the passive voice can be shown by using the hashtag #passivevoiceday on Twitter. As has been said by Shaun, "It's just enjoyed when things are taken to an absurd extreme." Attention has been paid from San Francisco to Australia. More can be read here.
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What's your Twitter threat level? Tweeting a word that's on the federal government's terror word watch list could jump you up from green to red in 140 characters or less. And that could get you some unanticipated scrutiny from the Department of Homeland Security.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

The New Yorker's "Eliminate a Word" Contest

The New Yorker asked its Twitter followers, if you could eliminate one word from the English language, what would it be? The most-tweeted suggestion turned out to be moist, a word that also bothers many Visual Thesaurus subscribers. Despite the mass aversion to moist, the editors declared another word the winner: slacks. Read all about it here.
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The big news in the copy editing world this week was the revelation that the Associated Press Stylebook would no longer hold the line against the long-stigmatized use of "hopefully" as a sentence adverb to mean "It is hoped." The announcement elicited some strong reactions both pro and con. Here is a roundup of some of the online responses to the stylebook change.  Continue reading...
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Edulinks

Useful sites for educators

Black History Month

 Check out the following sites to find top-notch materials for teaching and learning about African American history:

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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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3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 138 Articles