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Blog Excerpts

Super Scrabble Brains

A new scientific study says that competitive Scrabble players possess word recognition skills far beyond the bounds of what was previously thought possible. Read all about it on ScienceBlog here.
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Earlier this week we featured an excerpt from the linguist John McWhorter's new book, What Language Is, in which he explains how the English language is essentially "disheveled." Here, in a second excerpt, McWhorter considers some questions that the chaotic history of English raises.  Continue reading...
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University of Illinois linguist Dennis Baron is a regular Visual Thesaurus contributor, and we have been proud to feature selected pieces he has written for his site, The Web of Language. Today WOL celebrates its fifth anniversary, and Dennis has commemorated the occasion by looking back on some of his most notable posts.  Continue reading...
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In his new book, What Language Is, the linguist John McWhorter takes the reader on a guided tour of language as it really is, not how we might assume it to be. One of his keys to understanding language the way a linguist does is to appreciate that it is inherently messy, or "disheveled," as he puts it. In this excerpt, McWhorter uses the history of English as his example of just how disheveled language can be.  Continue reading...
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Hi, Teachers at Work readers! I've dragged myself up from my beach towel and stowed my mojito away so that we can take a look together at some basic vocabulary for studying plays in your classroom. Hey! Don't throw those beach umbrellas at me! It's not my fault that the New York City school year starts after Labor Day! Seriously, though, this column should help you whenever you want to incorporate theatre into your class.  Continue reading...
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All this week, politicians and pundits have been busy reacting to Standard & Poor's downgrade of the U.S. debt rating from AAA to AA+, the first such credit downgrade in American history. The word downgrade itself has taken on powerful significance, to the point that it has vaulted into contention for Word of the Year.  Continue reading...
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Earlier this week, we featured an excerpt from Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little by Christopher Johnson, a branding expert who runs the website The Name Inspector. Here we continue Johnson's discussion of how "the crowded space of names might create a need for more complex ways to create names."  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 30 Articles