1 2 3 4 Displaying 15-21 of 28 Articles

My friend Laura knows four languages plus "bits and pieces" of six others. That's impressive, but it's not quite in the same league as folks who pick up languages the way George Clooney picks up starlets: with frightening ease. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a lot written, in academic or popular literature, on hyperpolyglots: people who know not just two or three languages, but six or ten or twenty.  Continue reading...
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When I started writing back in high school, I developed the nervous practice of producing a sentence and then going back to edit it, immediately. Perhaps you do the same thing? I advise you to take a hard look at your own writing and, break the instant-editing habit as quickly as possible.  Continue reading...
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"Writers struggle to get the right words down in the right order, to put every comma, or nearly every comma, in its proper place; and readers follow the writers' final sequence of words and commas as printed on the page," Michael Lydon writes, "but what happens between writer and reader is far more amorphous, more emotional than the precision needed for the process would suggest."  Continue reading...
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As the selection of the American Dialect Society's Word of the Year approached, a certain air of inevitability had begun to surround occupy, the word revitalized by the Occupy protest movement. And sure enough, when the assembled throngs met in Portland, Oregon, where the ADS held its annual meeting in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America, occupy emerged victorious as the Word of 2011.  Continue reading...
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Greetings from Portland, Oregon, where the American Dialect Society is having its annual conference. As chair of the New Words Committee, I had the honor of presiding over the nominating session for the Word of the Year. On Friday evening, winners will be selected from the different categories, and then nominations will be made for the overall category of Word of the Year. What do you think the category winners should be, and what should be crowned the Word of 2011?  Continue reading...
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Bill Walsh, a multiplatform editor at The Washington Post and longtime usage maven, poses a mathematical question:

If I start with $100 and end up with $250, did that money grow 2 1/2 times?  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 Displaying 15-21 of 28 Articles