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A few months ago, New Yorker cartoonist and SXSW attendee Drew Dernavich wrote a tweet so full of euphemisms it made me fall out of my sitting tool. Sitting tool? Here’s the tweet:

Just sat in chair whose creator said it was a "sitting tool" with a "learning curve" which stimulated the "conception vessel."
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This is the story of two business names — both US trademarks, one for half a century and one for less than a year. Actually, it's the story of the word that's common to both trademarks. And to get directly to my point, it's about the way that one word has shifted in meaning over recent history — but only incompletely, so that both meanings coexist a little uncomfortably in semantic space, at least for me and many other speakers of American English.  Continue reading...
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Give anyone pen and paper, ask them to write two hundred words on any subject under the sun, and if they do, you'll get back a piece of writing brand-new in the history of literature and a glimpse into that writer's unique and personal vision.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

It took 20 grueling rounds, but Sukanya Roy of South Abington Township, Pennsylvania emerged victorious in the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee. The 41 semifinalists had been whittled down to 13 for the prime-time finals, and the last handful of contestants kept the competition going with round after round of flawless spelling. Sukanya outlasted them all, winning with the word cymotrichous, meaning "having wavy hair."  Continue reading...
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The 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee got underway yesterday, as the 275 entrants faced the early rounds of spelling stumpers. Only 41 will advance to Thursday's semifinal round, but we're happy to report that two of them are familiar faces to us: Nicholas Rushlow and Tony Incorvati, both of Ohio, are returning spellers who have told us how they use the Visual Thesaurus Spelling Bee for practice. We wouldn't want to play favorites, but, well... go Nicholas and Tony!  Continue reading...
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This week's worksheet goes out to all those weary high school juniors who are taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test this Saturday, June 4th. Instead of practicing more random sentence completion exercises out of a prep book, your students can try completing sentences collected from famous Victorian novels.  Continue reading...
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The idea that we all have a soul mate out there somewhere is a popular cultural meme. Words seem to have soul mates as well, judging by the way that they mate for life. But such word unions are not always marked with ceremony, the way human ones are, and this makes some of the hookups a bit difficult to document and validate.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 22-28 of 29 Articles