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Posts from the ‘Words’ Category

What’s Your Signature Word?

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

This Video Is Totally, Like, Cool.

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

Even The Pope Makes Typos

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 11.19.51 AM


Via Buzzfeed

Your Burger Isn’t Awesome. It Just Isn’t.

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

The World’s Trickiest Tongue Twister

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:

Read more

7 (Even More) Annoying Words That Should Die A Horrible Death

It’s been awhile since I’ve done this. Well over a year ago, in fact. Here’s part one and part two of my annoying words series, if you’re interested.

I guess I’ve needed a while to soak in the culture, mostly internet culture, and determine what words and phrases grate on my word bones, whatever that means.

Today’s batch might not be as recognizable as my previous two posts, but just sayin’. And, yes, I know that two of these aren’t actually words—they’re phrases—but whatevs. That’s just how I roll.

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On Stir-Bugs, Skitters, and Truck Skinners

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):

Read more


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