Matthew Malady wrote an interesting column for Slate last week about “signature words.” He says a signature word is basically a word we unknowingly use often in order to make ourselves appear smarter than we are.
He explains his word of choice as “iteration.” Read more
A lot of people seemed to like last Monday’s post about Taylor Mali’s hilarious video The The Impotence of Proofreading, so I thought I’d share another one of his thoughts on the dumbing down of the English language.
This one is, like, totally, cool…whatever. Read more
I have a thing for words. I’ve written about terrible words, annoying words, more annoying words, even more annoying words, happy words, and even difficult-to-spell words. Words are awesome.
Wait a minute. I just said “awesome”–which is one of our culture’s most overused, filler, meaningless words right now. Honestly, I probably say “awesome” way too often–and if I actually thought about what the word meant, I wouldn’t say it near as much.
Here’s an uncensored, profanity-laced rant from Louis C.K. about how we waste words like awesome. Sorry for the profanity, but it’s spot on. Read more
It’s definitely not “She sells seashells by the seashore.”
So what is the world’s trickiest tongue-twister?
According to MIT researcher Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel (speaking of tongue twisters), the world’s trickiest tongue-twister is this:
One of the things I love about The Grapes of Wrath? The dialogue.
It’s filled with slang and colloquialisms, and it can be difficult to read at times, but it feels right. I can hear the characters speaking when I read it. That’s much different than, say, Gone With the Wind–where the dialogue seemed over-the-top and goofy–and Neuromancer–where the dialogue seemed artificial and stilted.
Within conversations throughout The Grapes of Wrath, you’ll want to pay close attention to some of the word choices and terminology. Steinbeck included quite a few funny terms that I had never heard of before reading this book.
Some examples (with definitions from Clifs Notes):