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Articles from MAY 2010
Exploring the pathways of our lexicon
May 7, 2010By Ben Zimmer
With new technology comes new language, and with new language comes new confusion over usage. Here's a question that people have been puzzling over for a couple of decades now: if we don't pluralize mail as mails, why should we pluralize e-mail as e-mails? Continue reading...
When my 12-year-old nephew, Caleb, asked what I was going to write about for the next installment of Red Pen Diaries, I said: "The em dash." He confessed that he didn't know what that was. "Neither do most adults," I explained. Continue reading...
How can you say you know a word if you have never spoken it aloud? How can you "own" a word if you have never used it? These are some of the questions that Heidi Hayes Jacobs prompts us to consider in her widely acclaimed book for educators Active Literacy Across the Curriculum. Continue reading...
Useful sites for educators
May 6, 2010
Euphemisms old and new
May 5, 2010By Mark Peters
Sometimes a euphemism is staring you in the face, blowing a raspberry, and insulting your mother, but you don't even realize it. That's how I feel about mischief — a word whose history I might be doomed to repeat, since I didn't know diddly about it till recently. Continue reading...
May 5, 2010
A new blog has been launched by Garson O'Toole, dedicated to unearthing the truth about the origins of famous quotations. If you want to find out whether Groucho Marx really said, "Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana," or if Mark Twain really said, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it," check out Quotation Investigator.
VT @ ICHLL
June 16, 2010 - June 18, 2010
The Fifth International Conference on Historical Lexicography and Lexicology will be held at St Anne's College, Oxford, UK, from June 16 to 18. Visual Thesaurus editor Ben Zimmer will be presenting a paper on slang lexicography. Click here for more details.