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Yesterday, October 16, was National Dictionary Day, celebrated annually on the birthday of the great American lexicographer Noah Webster. Today the "Webster" name is practically synonymous with dictionaries, but how did the first "Webster's Dictionary" come to be? In this excerpt from The Forgotten Founding Father, Joshua Kendall recounts the publication of Webster's Compendious Dictionary in 1806, the first dictionary to bear his name and the first to feature his "American" spelling.  Continue reading...
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Ever wonder what those squiggly words are that you have to spell in order to get past security on many websites? They're called CAPTCHAs, and Mike Pope, a technical writer and editor at Microsoft, has the full story on them.  Continue reading...
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What's for dinner tonight? How about Cheez-It crackers topped with Cheez Whiz, followed by a salad of Imitation Krab and Vegetable Skallops sprinkled with Bac'n Bites? For your main course, we have a tempting selection of Chik'n Cutlets, Chick'n Scallopini, Turk'y, Stakelets, and Wyngz. And be sure to leave room for dessert: we're serving Kandy Kakes and Froots smoothies!  Continue reading...
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Mike Pope, a technical editor at Microsoft, writes:

My name — Pope — is surprisingly easy to mishear. "Polk?" people ask. "Hope?" This is particularly true over the telephone. Even spelling it out doesn't help — P-O-P-E — and I find myself exaggerating the aspiration on those plosives.  Continue reading...
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Does anything signal "uneducated" more than the use of "alot?" My father, an attorney, has done more than a few criminal appeals. I've seen some of the letters he receives from his prisoner clients — they pretty much all include "alot."  Continue reading...
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It took 20 grueling rounds, but Sukanya Roy of South Abington Township, Pennsylvania emerged victorious in the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee. The 41 semifinalists had been whittled down to 13 for the prime-time finals, and the last handful of contestants kept the competition going with round after round of flawless spelling. Sukanya outlasted them all, winning with the word cymotrichous, meaning "having wavy hair."  Continue reading...
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The 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee got underway yesterday, as the 275 entrants faced the early rounds of spelling stumpers. Only 41 will advance to Thursday's semifinal round, but we're happy to report that two of them are familiar faces to us: Nicholas Rushlow and Tony Incorvati, both of Ohio, are returning spellers who have told us how they use the Visual Thesaurus Spelling Bee for practice. We wouldn't want to play favorites, but, well... go Nicholas and Tony!  Continue reading...
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3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 72 Articles