1 2 3 4 Displaying 22-28 of 28 Articles

In this Sunday's "On Language" column in the New York Times Magazine, I take a look at how the car brand Cadillac remains an emblem of luxury, even though Cadillac itself is no longer really "the Cadillac of cars." In the health care debate on Capitol Hill, we frequently hear high-cost health insurance plans described as "Cadillac plans." And there's another area of American culture where Cadillac continues to have outsized linguistic importance: baseball.  Continue reading...
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Do you know what it means to dogfood a product? Have you ever taken part in a bug bash? Mike Pope, a technical editor at Microsoft, takes us on a tour of some of the quirky jargon that has sprung up at the software giant.  Continue reading...
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I'm in mourning this week: my school is closing. Not the one I work in now, but Stella Maris High School, a small (ultimately, apparently, too small) Catholic girls' school, which I've always described as "on the beach in Queens." It really is on the beach — just about 50 yards from the sand. When we had fire drills, we dispersed to the boardwalk. Stella might be the only school in New York City where students were routinely chastised for wearing bikini tops under their uniforms.  Continue reading...
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VT @ FETC

The Visual Thesaurus will have an exhibit at the 2010 Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Visit us at Booth #457! Click here for conference details.

Leave it to lexicographers to sneak a word like hypallage into a press release. The occasion is the Word of the Year from Webster's New World Dictionary (yes, it's Word of the Year season already). Webster's New World chose distracted driving as its Word of the Year for 2009, defined as "use of a cellphone or other portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle." The press release notes that distracted driving features a "linguistic catch" that is "frequently seen in poetry": hypallage. Say what?  Continue reading...
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At a scenic dropoff near the Lounge, whereunder flows the mighty torrent of English, we have lookouts posted whose job is to spot trends. Recently they have reported back on instances of a certain class of words that are ready for a closeup: a handful of nouns formed by fusing the two parts of a phrasal verb. Such words are legion in English (setback, breakdown, frameup, washout, etc.) but we lack a handy term to designate them: snaptos? pairups? glueons? In any case, this month's Lounge is a rundown of our lookouts' pickups.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

More on "Text(ed)"

Exploring a topic discussed here back in April, the British linguist John Wells considers how people are forming the past tense of the verb "to text" (often pronounced, like the present tense, as "text"). Read about it on Dr. Wells's phonetics blog here.
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1 2 3 4 Displaying 22-28 of 28 Articles