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Articles from MAY 2009
In this excerpt from Active Literacy Across the Curriculum: Strategies for Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening, Heidi Hayes Jacobs advocates developing students' "word power" by borrowing methods from the foreign language classroom. Continue reading...
Exploring the pathways of our lexicon
May 15, 2009By Ben Zimmer
Welcome to another edition of Mailbag Friday! Carol B. writes in with today's question:
Reshaping the Environmental Lexicon
May 14, 2009
"Cap and trade" or "pollution reduction refund"? "Global warming" or "our deteriorating atmosphere"? Environmental action groups are proposing new messaging techniques to build public support for their causes. The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times provide two different angles to this developing story.
When I begin a name-development project, I'm open to all possibilities that are relevant to my client's objectives. After all, I'm aiming to develop not one name but a list of 250 or so from which I can identify 15 to 20 strong candidates.Still, there are words and word parts I avoid — and if you're naming your own product or company, I recommend you avoid them, too. Continue reading...
Leaders in the U.S. House of Representative recently reached an agreement on a plan that would award vouchers of up to $4,500 to car owners who trade in older vehicles for more fuel-efficient models. The proposed legislation has a nickname that is memorably alliterative: "Cash for Clunkers." How did clunker become the favored American word for cars that are past their prime? Continue reading...
The Rise and Fall of "Tricia"
May 12, 2009
New research shows that the faster a baby name like "Tricia" gets popular, the faster it fades away. And the same principle applies to other fads and fashions. Wired Science reports.
Can teachers manipulate language to their advantage, as a way of shifting their students' perspectives in a more positive direction? It might sound a little Orwellian, but Steven Kushner, who teaches at Bremen High School in Midlothian, Illinois, has found that taking a page from "Big Brother" can be an effective educational strategy. Continue reading...