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With the Halloween season now safely behind us for another year, I can bring to light a feature of it that has haunted me in recent weeks.  Continue reading...
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These eight essays are a perfect way into learning about how a writer who started at the lowest rung at Time magazine in the 1950s developed to become the author associated with a body of nonfiction that is unparalleled in modern American letters for its breadth and depth.  Continue reading...
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Martin Luther is a fascinating study for any lover of language because his entire conflict with and banishment from Catholicism were conducted through speech and writing.  Continue reading...
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From a linguistic perspective, the now burgeoning field of genetic genealogy provides an interesting case study for the ways in which we develop new terminology for new concepts, picking and choosing among the raw materials we have (that is, words) to designate things for which we didn't have or need particular names before.  Continue reading...
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When judges cite dictionaries, especially as a way of underpinning or justifying a particular decision, the dictionary is suddenly elevated to a position of influence that it did not previously enjoy.  Continue reading...
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July 12th marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau. It is a suitable time to examine his legacy, which comes to us almost entirely in the form of his writing.  Continue reading...
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Eight pairs of sounds that are scattered across the lexicon of English support Henry Fowler's observation that relations among words in English come to us from our forefathers as an odd jumble and plainly show that the language has not been neatly constructed by a master builder who could create each part to do the exact work required of it, neither overlapped or overlapping; far from that, its parts have had to grow as they could.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 1-7 of 157 Articles