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The Visual Thesaurus Spelling Bee has been an enormously popular feature since we launched it last year, with nearly three million words played thus far. And now we're rolling out a new way to play the Bee. We're introducing Community Spelling Bees, generated from word lists created by our subscribers. You can concoct your own spelling bee from any word list, or test your spelling knowledge of lists of words put together by other members of the Visual Thesaurus community.  Continue reading...
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Want to avoid using words that "sound somewhat like the ones intended but are ludicrously wrong in the context"? Let our Editorial Emergency team, Simon Glickman and Julia Rubiner, help you to avoid coming off like the reincarnation of Mrs. Malaprop!  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Be Artwiculate!

Artwiculate is a new Twitter-based Word of the Day competition that "helps clever people look clever and helps the rest of us learn new words." Use the Word of the Day in one of your tweets, and earn points if people like your style. Join in the fun here!
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This past Sunday I had the opportunity to fill in once again for William Safire's "On Language" column in the New York Times Magazine. This time I focused on how the prefix un- is getting pressed into service for all sorts of new verbs — particularly in the novel lingo of social networking, where following, friending, and favoriting can be instantly reversed by unfollowing, unfriending, and unfavoriting.  Continue reading...
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Today, September 18th, is Samuel Johnson's 300th birthday. The English essayist, poet, novelist, and witty conversationalist whom we know mostly through the anecdotes recorded by his friend and biographer, James Boswell, and his other friends, became famous in his day for his two-volume Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1755. Dennis Baron, professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois, wishes Dr. Johnson a happy birthday — and a happy birthnight.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

The Apostrophantom

What's an apostrophantom? Stan Carey defines it as "an entity that absconds from the printed page, leaving only a ghostly trace of the apostrophe it once was." See it (and its relative the apostrofly) on Carey's Sentence First blog.
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We've been talking to Bryan A. Garner about the new edition of Garner's Modern American Usage. Garner's book is not simply a compendium of do's and don't's: he also offers thoughtful essays advising writers on a wide variety of topics related to usage and style. Here we present Garner's essay on "Plain Language," a useful tonic to muddled and belabored prose.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 33 Articles