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From the annual meeting of the American Copy Editors Society in Las Vegas comes some earth-shaking news: the folks who edit the Associated Press Stylebook have loosened the distinction between "over" and "more than." The stylebook editors announced that they are now fine with "over" being used with numbers. Many of those in attendance were aghast, while others hailed the change as long overdue.
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The Oxford English Dictionary
's recent quarterly update added, as usual, as assortment of terms from all over the map. These included ethnomathematics, honky-tonker, honor code, exfoliator, bookaholic, over-under, wackadoo,
and the even wackier wackadoodle
. But the entry that really caught my eye was bestie
, an affectionate term for a best friend.
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I've written columns culled from the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) before, but it wasn't easy. I always had to thumb through the pages like a caveman. No more! Now, finally, DARE is available digitally, allowing this deep well of regional English to be searched easily. This is a bonanza for writers and word nerds everywhere, so get a subscription or take your library hostage until it does so.
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Sometimes, a photo "ekes out
of the printer." Other times, electronics help "to eke out
extra mileage" in cars. And in a more familiar usage, a movie "shows how a once-budding folk singer tries to eke out
a living." It's no wonder, then, that most people think "eke out" means to achieve something through effort, to barely get by.