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Welcome to the March edition of the Visual Thesaurus crossword puzzle. Figure out the hidden word chain and you could win a Visual Thesaurus T-shirt!  Continue reading...
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With the deepening of "The Great Recession" (or whatever we end up calling the current crisis), our language continues to reflect the tough economic times. Here is a primer on recession-related terminology that has been circulating in recent months, as we struggle to put the global financial uncertainty into words.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Scrabble Inflation

Does the addition of words like za and qi to the Scrabble player's arsenal mean that "Z" and "Q" are now overvalued? The Wall Street Journal's Numbers Guy investigates, here and here.

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Among the idioms of modern American English, few are as puzzling to unpack as the expression "the whole nine yards," meaning 'the full extent of something.' Though it is of relatively recent vintage, etymologists have yet to discover a credible historical explanation for what the "nine yards" might refer to — there are a multitude of theories, some quite fanciful, but none are supported by documentary evidence. In the past few years, however, some significant progress has been made to unearth early examples of the idiom, which may eventually help to smoke out where those "nine yards" originally came from.  Continue reading...
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In the two years since we launched word lists on the Visual Thesaurus, subscribers have taken advantage of the feature to catalogue everything from economics vocabulary to skateboarding verbs. Now it's easier than ever to organize your word lists and keep track of your favorite lists.  Continue reading...
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American sports fans are currently engrossed in the NCAA College Basketball Tournament, a.k.a. "March Madness." Even President Obama filled out a Tournament bracket with his projected winners in the single-elimination format. So far, if you picked the favorites to advance (as Obama mostly did), your bracket is doing nicely: only one team (Arizona) has pulled off a significant upset to get into the "Sweet Sixteen." In betting parlance, chalk has predominated in the Tournament. But how did chalk come to be the term associated with favored teams?  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 57 Articles