1 2 3 4 Displaying 15-21 of 23 Articles

This summer, I've been looking at zombie rules, false grammar rules taught and followed slavishly with little thought. Today, I'll kill three final zombies: the split infinitive, hopefully, and singular they. They're style rules — albeit awkward ones — that are lumbering around as grammar rules.  Continue reading...
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The eagerly anticipated final season of "Breaking Bad" has led to a lot of viewers catching up on past episodes marathon-style. For my latest Wall Street Journal column, I use this moment of mass-media consumption to dive into the history of "binge-watching."  Continue reading...
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August 28, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King's monumental "I Have a Dream” speech. In commemoration of King's life and his way with words, this week's worksheet leads students through an analysis of how King used figurative language in his "I Have a Dream" speech.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Should "Tweeps" Be in the Dictionary?

Library Journal and Oxford University Press recently organized a webcast entitled "Should 'Tweeps' Be in the Dictionary?" about the role of dictionaries in the age of social media. Participating were Katherine Connor Martin, head of U.S. dictionaries at OUP, Henrietta Thornton-Verma, reviews editor at Library Journal, and Ben Zimmer, executive producer of Vocabulary.com and the Visual Thesaurus. Read Thornton-Verma's recap here, and listen to the full webcast here.
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Rebranding — which is a heckuva euphemism itself — has been the root cause of many euphemisms over the years, as fish have become sea kittens and rich jerks have become job creators. The latest attempt at ridiculous, retch-worthy rebranding is knowledge people: in other words, librarians.  Continue reading...
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I can't remember who told me about Jonathan Mann but I'm grateful for the tip. I don't spend enough time on the Internet to have accidentally stumbled across this guy who has been writing a song a day for the last four-plus years.  Continue reading...
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Day after day of 90+ degree heat seems to melt our brains into neuronic mushes far too soggy for heavy reading, and we become capable only of lazing through lighter-than-air fare. A memorable New Yorker cartoon tells the story: a stern cop, looming over a sunbather reading Crime and Punishment, says, "I'm sorry, sir, but Dostoyevsky is not considered summer reading."  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 Displaying 15-21 of 23 Articles