Evolving Words and Marketing

An interesting piece this past week in the Wall Street Journal by Ben Zimmer describes the decline of the word “stylus” in tech circles, even though the device itself is experiencing a resurgence of interest (with newer, larger phones/phablets becoming popular). We talk in class about shifts in language, and vocabulary is definitely one of the primary ways Read More

New Words Added to OED

The Oxford English Dictionary, one of the most respected lexical collections in the English-speaking world, recently issued an update (they do this monthly, in case you’re interested) describing some of the new words that have been added to the dictionary. You can read about all the additions in the article linked in the previous, sentence, Read More

When a Suffix Becomes A Word

There’s an interesting piece on Slate by Gretchen McCulloch about the growingly common use of the suffix -ish as its own word.  As McCulloch explains: As a word by itself—which is to say, not as a suffix—ish means more or less the same thing: kind of, thereabouts, in a way. And imagining how it broke free Read More

The Tyranny of the Like Button

I’ll admit up front that I’m not an avid Facebook-er, so perhaps some of the complaint I’m offering here is due to my naiveté about the medium. I’m also kind of old, and maybe this is the embryonic old codger in me coming out. I imagine the Like button on Facebook has been around on the Read More