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In this month's contest, we challenge you to use the Visual Thesaurus to link two words together by clicking on the fewest number of related words. Entrants who can connect the words summer and break through the fewest number of words will receive a limited edition Visual Thesaurus T-shirt!  Continue reading...
Fun
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A Sweet, No-Bake Tale of Success

"You are a lover of words. One day, you will write a book."

That fortune, cracked free of a cookie after eating my favorite Chinese meal of chicken and broccoli (extra spicy), resonated with me. I did love words. I did want to write a book.  Continue reading...
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When Alaska Governor Sarah Palin burst onto the national scene less than a year ago, she made a memorable impression with an animal-related witticism. In her speech accepting the vice-presidential nomination at the 2008 Republican National Convention, she asked, "You know what the difference is between a hockey mom and a pit bull?" The answer, of course, was "lipstick." Now, as Palin exits the political stage (at least for now), she has again used a metaphor drawn from the animal kingdom.  Continue reading...
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Once upon a time, a man who now is a naturalist at the Grand Canyon was a nine-year-old boy. He was fascinated by bugs and rocks but not too interested in sports. His parents, however, had been schooled by his older, athletic brother and therefore insisted that the awkward, recalcitrant boy join the local baseball team.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

The OED is All a-Twitter

The lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary are plumbing a new source for language use: Twitter. Hear how the OED is making use of ephemeral "tweets" from Editor at Large Jesse Sheidlower, on the public radio program Future Tense.
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We recently spoke to education experts Amy Benjamin and John T. Crow about their new book, Vocabulary at the Center. Amy and John explain the most effective methods for extending the use of new words, so that vocabulary instruction can move beyond rote memorization.  Continue reading...
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We're coming up on the Fourth of July, when the United States is full of barbecues, fireworks, parades, and competitive hot dog eating. But why do we say "the United States is full of..." instead of "the United States are"? On Independence Day, there's no better time to reflect on how the rise of America's national unity was mirrored by its grammatical unity, as "the United States" turned into a singular noun.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 22-28 of 30 Articles