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Blog Excerpts

Languages of the World

Check out Ethnologue for a comprehensive cataloguing of the world's known living languages -- almost seven thousand of them! From Senegal's 36 tongues to China's 235, the site breaks down languages by size, family and country. Fascinating fact from the site: "95% of languages are spoken by only 6% of the world's people." Wow.
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Slips of the tongue? Mixed up consonants? Verbal blunders are more than simple mistakes to linguist and journalist Michael Erard. The author of Um... Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean, Michael explores what gaffes in speech tell us about language, and ourselves. We called him to learn, um, more about this subject:  Continue reading...

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Dog Eared

Books we love

Um... Books

Michael Erard, the linguist and author we feature in this week's Behind the Dictionary column, recommends The Freudian Slip, by Sebastian Timpanaro, "a resounding rebuttal of Freud, in which you learn a lot about speech errors and Freud."
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Blog Du Jour

Blog Book Reviews

Last week we brought you blog book tours. This week it's blog book reviews! Check out these websites for book reviews and commentary:

Avid Book Reader

Chick Lit Books

Book Burger

Curled Up With a Good Book

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You know the feeling. You really, really, really don't want to write. You're blocked. You've hit the wall. The words just won't come. You're bereft of inspiration. But your writing project needs to be finished (or started!) So what can you do? Well, I have an idea. Twenty of 'em, actually?  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Book Tours, For Real

This week in our Blog Du Jour blog recommendations we talked about "virtual book tours." But what if you want to actually meet your favorite author, for real and in the flesh? Check out BookTour, "where authors and audiences meet," a listing of author events around the country.
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"Baseball has had a phenomenal influence on the English language," says writer and lexicographer Paul Dickson. Paul should know. As the author of The Hidden Language of Baseball and The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary (and over 40 other books!), he's studied the impact of America's favorite pastime on English for the past three decades. Paul graciously shared some examples of baseball lingo that's now part of everyday speech.

Designated hitter. "This is a strange construction in English, 'designated 'x'' but it gave birth to the term 'designated driver.'"

Hit-and-run. "A baseball play that's been around since the 19th century. When the automobile arrived, all of a sudden the phrase also meant 'a hit-and-run accident.'"

 Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 Displaying 8-14 of 26 Articles