9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 550 Articles

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...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

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...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

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...
Click here to read more articles from Evasive Maneuvers.

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...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

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...
Click here to read more articles from Behind the Dictionary.

The long-running battle between descriptivists and prescriptivists involves many arguments about whether particular points of usage are right or wrong. Plenty of arguments boil down to "Just because everybody does it doesn't make it right!" I've occasionally asked, "So what would make it right?" but I've never received a real answer.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

Claire Hardaker, a linguist at Lancaster University in the U.K., recently published a survey of "trolling," i.e., "behavior of being deliberately antagonistic or offensive via computer-mediated communication (CMC), typically for amusement's sake." In the wake of the media attention her work has received, Hardaker considers the varying definitions people have for the word "troll."  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Blog Excerpts.

9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 550 Articles