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For this month's contest, we're exploring some of the biographical tidbits you may not even know exist in the Visual Thesaurus treasure trove. For example, if you click on the red meaning bubble associated with Benjamin Franklin, you will learn that he was "an American Revolutionary leader," a "scientist," a "writer," and a "printer." The challenge: find as many historical figures as you can in the VT database who have at least three "type of" relationships in their maps.  Continue reading...
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Have you heard? This economic slump we're in isn't just a recession: it's a mancession — a downturn that hurts men more than women. The term has been popularized by a University of Michigan economics and finance professor, Mark J. Perry, whose Carpe Diem blog employs lots of charts and graphs to drive home the point that male workers are taking it on the chin.

That's bad news. But it turns out there's one sector men in which men are doing just dandy. I refer, of course, to the market in man-words and man-brands.  Continue reading...
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Today is a big day for Beatles fans: the band's entire catalog is being reissued in digitally remastered form, and the video game "The Beatles: Rock Band" is also set for release. And what better day than 09/09/09, considering the band's love of the number nine (enneaphilia?), from "The One After 909" to "Revolution No. 9." In honor of the latest wave of Beatles nostalgia, I've been mulling over a bit of nonsense from the fertile mind of John Lennon: the timeless chant heard in "I Am the Walrus," "Goo goo ga joob."  Continue reading...
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I bought a new chair recently. This decision was a key part of my ongoing campaign to improve my wretched back. I'm also seeing a personal trainer and going to a restorative yoga class. As you can probably tell, I'm both motivated and a little bit desperate.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Dictionaries in the Age of Google

Do we still need dictionaries in the age of Google? That's the question posed by Julia Angwin in the Wall Street Journal's "Decoder" blog. Read her investigation here.
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It's the first Monday in September, when the United States observes Labor Day by avoiding labor. Today is a holiday north of the border too, but in Canada it's called Labour Day. Labour, of course, is the accepted spelling in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries like Canada. Americans prefer labor to labour, just as they prefer color, favor, honor, humor, neighbor, and a few dozen other words ending in -o(u)r. How did the spellings diverge?  Continue reading...
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Today's Mailbag Friday question comes from Bob D., a doctor from Newton, Massachusetts. Bob asks: "What is up with the constant misuse of the word regime? It drives me crazy. It is like regimen never existed."  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 22-28 of 33 Articles