7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 559 Articles

Google's Ngram Viewer, especially with its addition of wildcard searching, provides an inexhaustible trove of material for understanding the ways that speakers and writers impart influential nuances to the connotations of words over time. The legacy of any particular word is subject to the whims of the people who use it.  Continue reading...
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Noel Anenberg, a regular reader of this column and author of the forthcoming book The Dog Boy, asked me about a usage of have that implies, Anenberg writes, "the speaker's active role in the events." Compare "I had my house cleaned" and "I had my car stolen."  Continue reading...
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In recent weeks, we've talked about idioms that are misheard, and thus miswritten. Now, we'll discuss some idioms that say the opposite of what they mean and whether they're "acceptable" English.  Continue reading...
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In the thick of homecoming season and with a son in high school, I've been hearing more these days about who likes who, who's dating who, and who's unwillingly unattached at the moment. It turns out there have been some changes in the vocabulary for that situation since my high-school and college days.  Continue reading...
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I twerking love euphemisms.

Let me explain.

As you're probably aware, the primary meaning of twerk is a bizarre form of dancing that looks more like a medical condition than anything attractive.  Continue reading...
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Mansplaining — a fella explaining something, unnecessarily and often incorrectly, with oodles of condescension — is as old as the hills. The word itself has been around since about 2009, but it's blossomed since, providing a potent weapon in women's arsenal against overbearing dudes.  Continue reading...
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For two weeks we highlighted phrases that are written from what people hear, sometimes with amusing results. A reader asked: "Aren't all those [examples] mondegreens, like 'very close veins' when 'varicose veins' is meant?" Yes and know.  Continue reading...
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7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 559 Articles