March Madness ended on March 25, but the thrill of bracketology lives on: April Foolishness is in full swing, thanks to the long-running, much-anticipated Name of the Year (NOTY) contest.  Continue reading...
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English loves its o-ending words with a curious fervor, considering how seldom they occur naturally in our mother tongue. For centuries, we've made up for that lack by importing or coining words that end in o.  Continue reading...
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Sometimes — mayhaps many times — we need words to help us make fun of other words, not to mention the preening posers who use them, including ourselves.  Continue reading...
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In the past year, fake news has gained currency as well as a new sense: Not only can it signify "disinformation or falsehoods spread as real news" – but it has also come to mean "actual news that is claimed to be untrue" if it's perceived as unflattering.  Continue reading...
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Long, cold winter nights lend themselves to absorption in a good narrative and if you're looking around for one, you could hardly do better than Frankenstein which was published on January 1, 1818.  Continue reading...
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At the end of each year, while linguists and lexicographers cast votes for words of the year, I'm compiling a different list: the brand names that distilled the mood of the previous twelve months. To narrow the field, I add another criterion: the brand names must be linguistically notable.  Continue reading...
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The recent discovery of Octlantis, an undersea community of octopuses just off the eastern coast of Australia, is a reminder of how a novel blend can perfectly name a new phenomenon, no matter how wild or multi-tentacled.  Continue reading...
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