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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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Apparently, one of the things that is making our Facebook feeds appetizing is a sauce—a combination of metrics mixed in exactly the right proportions to make this particular meal ever appealing.  Continue reading...
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A craving for linguistic rationality – not to mention a fondness for wordplay – explains how acronyms begat backronyms.  Continue reading...
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London's colossal clog is a reminder of the history of berg and its parent word iceberg. With language, there's always a lot going on beneath the surface.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 255 Articles