8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 545 Articles

With endless drama swirling around disgraced baseball players like Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez, the word doping has been firmly ensconced in American sports headlines, just as it has been in international coverage of cycling and track and field. How doping came to refer to taking drugs to improve one's athletic performance, however, is a complicated story.  Continue reading...
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This week there has been a raging language debate about the inclusion of the non-literal meaning of "literally" in various dictionaries. But is the whole controversy overblown? Here is a roundup of online reactions.  Continue reading...
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The editors were discussing a story about the health benefits of a particular type of cactus, and maybe others. The story was called "Cacti." "Is it cactuses or cacti?" one asked. "The plural of cactus is cactuses," another said, adding wryly: "Is the plural of circus circi?"  Continue reading...
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This summer, I've been looking at zombie rules, false grammar rules taught and followed slavishly with little thought. Today, I'll kill three final zombies: the split infinitive, hopefully, and singular they. They're style rules — albeit awkward ones — that are lumbering around as grammar rules.  Continue reading...
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Rebranding — which is a heckuva euphemism itself — has been the root cause of many euphemisms over the years, as fish have become sea kittens and rich jerks have become job creators. The latest attempt at ridiculous, retch-worthy rebranding is knowledge people: in other words, librarians.  Continue reading...
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Although we can take inspiration from stories where "failure is not an option," engineers think a lot about situations in which it very much is an option. Certainly in the world of computers, failure is never far away, and consequently there is some interesting vocabulary around anticipating and managing that failure.  Continue reading...
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When I was in elementary school, and was being taught the difference between fact and opinion, I wondered how to classify statements like "There are 51 states in the United States." It wasn't true, so it wasn't a fact, but on the other hand, it didn't seem to involve the kind of judgment that we were learning to identify with opinions.  Continue reading...
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8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 545 Articles