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In honor of the U.S. presidential conventions, we've got a political theme this month. Solve it and you could win a Visual Thesaurus T-shirt!  Continue reading...
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Last time on Word Routes, we looked at a spelling error that's common enough to show up frequently in edited text: using acclimation when you mean acclamation. That's a case of battling homophones: the two words sound the same, but they have different meanings. The problem crops up with other sound-alikes, such as imminent vs. immanent, compliment vs. complement, principle vs. principal, and of course affect vs. effect. (We talked about that last pair recently in our interview with Jesse Sheidlower of the Oxford English Dictionary.) These mix-ups are particularly insidious because your spellchecker won't bail you out — unless, perhaps, you are using a contextual spellchecker like the one that has been developed for Microsoft Office.

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Blog Excerpts

English with an Accent

Rosina Lippi-Green is the author of English with an Accent: Language, Ideology, and Discrimination in the United States. Now she has set up a companion website for the book, with observations on everything from Ebonics to double negatives.
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Mark Peters is a language columnist and lexicographer who loves collecting fanciful words, old and new. His book Yada, Yada, Doh! entertainingly chronicles words and phrases that made the leap from television to everyday speech, and his blog Wordlustitude celebrates bizarre online coinages like trouserwad, dumbitudinous, and toaster whisperer. Mark also collects euphemisms, those circumlocutions we use to soften the harsh realities of life. We asked Mark to tell us about some of the more intriguing under-the-radar euphemisms he's come across.  Continue reading...

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Dog Eared

Books we love

Spin Control

While the presidential nominating conventions are in full swing, here are some readings on the fine art of political spin and doubletalk.

Unspeak

Weasel Words

Talking Right

What Orwell Didn't Know

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Yesterday's Visual Thesaurus Word of the Day was acclamation, a timely word now that the Democratic National Convention has begun. Of course, the news out of Denver is that Barack Obama will not be nominated by acclamation ("a voting method in which shouts or applause, rather than ballots, determine the winner"). Instead, there will be a state-by-state roll call for the nomination on Wednesday night, with some votes going to Obama's erstwhile rival Hillary Clinton, followed by some sort of a unanimous consent for Obama after the first ballot. Columnists Dick Morris and Eileen McGann wrote last week that Obama should have "blocked a roll call by allowing a voice vote to nominate by acclimation." Whoops!  Continue reading...
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Blog Du Jour

Bibliophile Blogs

Do you obsess about book collecting? These blogs prove you're not alone.

PhiloBiblos

A Gently Mad Blog

Book Patrol

Bibliophile Bullpen

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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 1-7 of 31 Articles