8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 547 Articles

We've been keeping tabs on the fuss over the word "literally" over the past couple of weeks, as commentators have expressed indignation that the non-literal definition of the word can be found in both online and print dictionaries now. In a Washington Post opinion piece, copy editor Bill Walsh, a self-identified "enlightened stickler," ruminates on the "literally" debate, which he thinks is overblown despite his own peevishness over misuse of the word.  Continue reading...
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Neither you nor I set the "rules" of English; we do it together, by using words in certain ways. But we do learn certain "rules," and we can either remember them, forget them, or ignore them. For example, most of us learned that "neither" and "nor" were a pair, like Lucy and Ricky, or peanut butter and jelly.  Continue reading...
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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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8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 547 Articles