1 2 3 4 Displaying 1-7 of 28 Articles

Adjectives can be a writer's greatest friend, creating rich images and clear meaning. They can also be her worst enemy, convey conflicting ideas and tripping her up at every juncture. Today, we dip our toes into the pool of adjectives with a few general rules.  Continue reading...
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Sarabande Books is publishing a fascinating new anthology entitled, One Word: Contemporary Writers on the Words They Love or Loathe. The editor, Molly McQuade, asked 66 writers the question, "What one word means the most to you, and why?" Among the essays McQuade has collected is "Sixpack," an exploration of six words by the experimental writer Thylias Moss. Tucker Capps has drawn from Moss's musings on the word fork to create a captivating short film.  Continue reading...
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Earlier this month, a post by Dan Frommer on Business Insider had this to say about Google, Facebook and Apple: "Recently, all three companies have been making a lot of 'acq-hires,' where they buy a company to acquire its human resources." You read that right: acq-hire. Where did this odd word come from?  Continue reading...
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We recently heard from Visual Thesaurus editor Ben Zimmer about the "chunking" approach to English-language instruction, which focuses on teaching students how stretches of words ("lexical chunks") tend to fall together in high frequency. Brett Reynolds, a professor of academic English at Humber College in Toronto, has long been somewhat skeptical of chunking, and we asked him to offer a contrasting perspective on the value of the approach for language teaching.  Continue reading...
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Today is National Punctuation Day, so naturally for the September edition of the Visual Thesaurus crossword we have a punctuation-themed puzzle for you. Figure out the hidden word chain and you could win a Visual Thesaurus T-shirt!  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

People Who Became Nouns

"It's easy to forget that some of the English language's most common words had real-life namesakes in living, breathing people." Life Magazine has put together a slide show of some of the most notable eponyms, from Henry Shrapnel to Etienne Silhouette. Check it out here.
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The New Oxford American Dictionary has released its third edition, and in the time-honored tradition of lexicographical publicity, a sampling of the dictionary's new words and phrases has been making the rounds. Some have griped that the list "reads like a list of Twitter trending topics" that is designed "to bait bloggers, who really are obsessed with the Interweb." Is the list too preoccupied with evanescent online culture? You be the judge!  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 Displaying 1-7 of 28 Articles