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Blog Excerpts

The Language of Food

Stanford linguist Dan Jurafsky has launched a fascinating new blog called The Language of Food. So far he's posted meticulous studies of the words entrée, ketchup, and dessert. Check it out here.
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We were thrilled to learn that sixth-grader Nicholas Rushlow of Pickerington, Ohio, who placed 17th in last spring's Scripps National Spelling Bee, is an avid user of the Visual Thesaurus. In fact, he used the Visual Thesaurus Spelling Bee as a training tool in preparing for the Nationals. And now as he gets ready to compete again during this school year, he's taking advantage of our new Community Spelling Bee feature to customize his practice lists. We caught up with Nicholas and his mother Michele Rushlow to find out what it takes to be one of the nation's top spellers.  Continue reading...
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Wendalyn Nichols, editor of the Copyediting newsletter, offers useful tips to copy editors and anyone else who prizes clear and orderly writing. Here she illuminates the proper usage of the surprisingly tricky word "regard."  Continue reading...
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The passing of New York Times language columnist William Safire has been well noted here (by VT executive producer Ben Zimmer) and elsewhere. The death of Edward Gelsthorpe, who died September 12 and whose Times obituary appeared directly beneath Safire's on September 28, has been less commented on. Yet in his way Gelsthorpe had almost as powerful an influence on the world of words as did Safire.  Continue reading...
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