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It's the biggest literary sensation since Harry Potter: Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga is coming to an end with the fourth and final installment in her best-selling series of vampire romance novels. Breaking Dawn goes on sale a minute after midnight on August 2, and bookstores across the country are holding Twilight parties for fans who want to buy the book as soon as it's available. The only question is: what to call this fervent fan base? Some want to be called twilighters and some prefer twi-hards. It's an indication of just how enthusiastic the fans are that this terminological issue has become a point of contention.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

How We Read Online

Are online readers "selfish, lazy, and ruthless"? That's the theory of Web guru Jakob Nielsen. Slate's Michael Agger investigates.

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Ever wonder how work is done at the Oxford English Dictionary, the world's largest and most prestigious English-language dictionary project? We got the inside story from none other than Jesse Sheidlower, OED editor at large, who works on North American materials out of the dictionary's New York office. In the first installment of our three-part interview, Jesse explains how the OED's North American Reading Program operates. (Note the firmly American spelling of "Program"!) The reading programs (or programmes) have been radically transformed by the digital revolution, but at the same time they still follow the traditions set down 150 years ago by James Murray, the dictionary's first editor. As Jesse explains, the OED relied on "the wisdom of crowds" for the gathering of historical evidence long before the age of Wikipedia.  Continue reading...
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Dog Eared

Books we love

Collective Intelligence

The technique of mass collaboration pioneered 150 years ago by the Oxford English Dictionary is now all the rage in our wikified world.

The Wisdom of Crowds

Here Comes Everybody



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How can the Visual Thesaurus help students better understand the language of mathematics?

In this lesson, small groups of students will use the Visual Thesaurus to explore the multiple meanings of some common math terms. Then, groups will synthesize this knowledge by coming up with examples of the words in both mathematical and other contexts.  Continue reading...
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Blog Du Jour

Summer Reading Clubs

Public libraries are branching out online to encourage young readers this summer. Check out these reading club resources, or find programs through your own local library.

New York Summer Reading Program

California Summer Reading Program

Texas Reading Club Jubilee

Teen Summer Reading Club (Canada)

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Last week we featured a debate over contemporary usage of whom, with Baltimore Sun copy editor John McIntyre squaring off against Stanford linguist Arnold Zwicky. To be honest, the exchange was a bit too civil and reasonable to live up to its billing as a "usage showdown" — at least based on the Visual Thesaurus definition of showdown as "a hostile disagreement face-to-face." I was amused to see that on his copy-editing blog, "You Don't Say," John McIntyre facetiously referred to the debate with an even more inappropriate term: smackdown, which most people (in the U.S. at least) would associate with professional wrestling. Other violent confrontations ending in -down include beatdown and throwdown. And where do hoedowns fit into all of this?  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 1-7 of 37 Articles