Category Archives: Words at Play

Words at Play

I recently read a wonderful book about words entitled Wordcatcher: An Odyssey Into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words (2010) by Phil Cousineau.  The author discusses approximately 250 words (in alphabetical order), but also talks about many more “companion … Continue reading

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Words at Play

“The Internet encourages people to think of baby names like user names. Once a name is taken, they think, ‘That’s it—I have to find a new one.’” Finding a unique name for your baby can be challenging – and very … Continue reading

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Words at Play

Campus Reform, a Conservative website, recently featured a story about a guide on the University of New Hampshire website that lists biased words and phrases along with appropriate substitutes. One of the words is “American,” which implies, so the guide … Continue reading

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Words at Play

While reading part of Disease: The Extraordinary Stories Behind History’s Deadliest Killers by Mary Dobson, I ran across this: “The use of quarantine to prevent contagious epidemics from entering ports arose in the wake of the Black Death.  In 1377 … Continue reading

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Words at Play

The French actually have an academy to help them keep their language pure.  I guess that seems a bit strange to me because English has borrowed words from every language on earth.  Nevertheless, the French are determined to fight a … Continue reading

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Words At Play

While reading a very interesting book I noticed that the author used a common cliché that was totally inconsistent with the level of writing in the rest of the book.  It distracted me.  It made me wonder why the author … Continue reading

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Words At Play

Back in July I presented a list of 25 “false friends” – words that don’t mean what they look like they should mean.  Last time the words were French, Spanish and Italian.  This time they are Italian, German, and English … Continue reading

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