Tag Archives: Words

7 words more people should look up

The word nerd in me loves the idea of trending words. I love that people want to know the meaning of a word, and take the time to look it up. News events, celebrities, politics and sports often drive a sudden spike in people looking up a specific word. Trends this week include synergy (Russians […]

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The cadence of jargon continues to annoy

Jargon has welcomed some new members to the fold this year. Or maybe it’s been happening longer, but I’ve been running into fresh examples over the past few months. Either way, I’m hopping on my Grouch Train. You know I’ve had issues with the phrase “like a boss” before. “Resonate” gets thrown around so much […]

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Look for words that count people in

A post about looking for a gender-neutral option for man-hours is one of the most-read on this blog, according to the analytics. (Long story short, person-hours is an acceptable substitute; also try work-hours or staff-hours.) Increasingly, people are looking for words that count people in. These days, we have a new way to count people […]

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Votes being counted…for Word of the Year

Hot on the heels of this month’s midterm elections in the United States (no, I’m not going there) is voting of a different sort. I’m talking about choosing the Word of the Year. The big names like the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster wait until late December, even January, to make their choice. This makes sense, […]

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So many ways to get words wrong

Stumbling over a few misused words recently brought to mind the 1987 movie, The Princess Bride. Vezzini (Wallace Shawn), the “mastermind” hired to kidnap the princess, constantly describes unfolding events as “inconceivable.” Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) says, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” * I […]

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I love the spirit, but the words are ‘recondite’

Wayne State University is again trying to draw attention to some of the English language’s “most expressive — yet regrettably neglected — words.” Its annual list shares words it says “deserve to be used more often in conversation and prose.” I love the spirit of the idea, as I said in 2016. But some of […]

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Wordies, we’re in the dictionary

Wordies, rejoice; we’re in the dictionary. Yes, we lovers of words join foodies and groupies in having a dictionary-blessed term that defines us as a collective. As Merriam-Webster.com notes, “Language doesn’t take a vacation, and neither does the dictionary.” Thus they’ve added 850 new words that have been used often enough to warrant being in […]

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30+ ways to steer clear of the T word

Writers and editors love a short, punchy word, especially in headlines. A short word grabs attention while saving precious space. It’s memorable. It gets to the point. Sometimes, though, that word brings something else to mind. I’m guessing that short punchiness is the reason for what seems to be an increasing use of the term […]

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Words of the year are no ‘fake news’

If you’re a word nerd, like me, you probably look forward to the release in early January of the “words of the year” from the previous year. They’re out! In past years, the words chosen were often catchy new portmanteaux – words formed by blending two or more distinct forms (smoke + fog = smog). […]

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‘Fake news’ among words we’d like to banish

The wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University in Michigan are at it again. Among the words they’re trying to banish for “Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness” are fake news, gig economy, impactful and unpack. As an unnamed spokesperson said when releasing the 43rd annual list, “We’ve drilled down and unpacked tons of pre-owned words and phrases […]

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