As President-elect Barack Obama and his staff prepare for the new administration, the word "vet" has come up often in news reports.
I ran across the word "doorstepped" in a story about a British
journalist today. I didn't understand what it meant even in context. So I looked it up.
The latest Grammar Guide quiz focuses on word choice.
Oxford University researchers have released a top 10 list of irritating phrases. The link is to a British newspaper story that uses "comprises" correctly, by the way.
One word that makes me cringe lately is "enormity." Television journalists speak of the "enormity" of President-elect Barack Obama's tasks once he is inaugurated. I suppose usage is changing, but I still think "enormity" refers to great wickedness, not to great size or importance.
Two pieces from the New York Times take on subjects I have written about recently, but with much more wit and sophistication.
I know. It's downright picky to comment on word choice in a comic strip. Nevertheless, Sunday's "Rhymes With Orange" prompts this short post.
A lead on a story from a few days ago with the construction "stamped to death" made me stop. I thought other readers might trip over "stamped" in a construction where we usually see "stomped."
If you want to hear the show without pledge breaks, click here. You can also read an excerpt from the book there. Folks called in with favorite words.
Roy Blount Jr. has written the funniest usage book I've ever read.
We have this man to thank when we spell the word color instead of colour. Yale University will celebrate Noah Webster this week on the 250th anniversary of his birth. Webster wrote the first comprehensive dictionary of the American language. He was born Oct. 16, 1758, in Hartford, Conn., and became a teacher after he was graduated from Yale. One story I read about him called him an "earnest pedant." Good for him!
Here is a quote from the Associated Press story that sums up Webster's contribution:
"He was the shaper of our language and the shaper of American identity," said Joshua Kendall, who is working on a biography about Webster. "Webster at last bonded us through our language."