Capitalizing the Internet (or internet): big I or little i?

In case you missed it, the big news in writing style this month was an announcement by the AP style book that…

Wait, wait, wait. Hold on a minute. Let’s rethink that. The whole idea of “big news in writing style” seems wrong. Is there ever any “big news” when it comes to writing style?

Click for news, big and small

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n-grams: for fun (and profit?)

In the last post I delved into LSSU’s list of “banned words” for 2016 using the Google Ngram viewer. If you’re interested in modern language use (primarily English, but it dips into a few others), that’s a tool you should know about and learn to use. But what exactly are “n-grams“?

Read more about the power of n-grams

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Banned for 2016?

It’s not fresh news, but I still want to mention this year’s “Banished Words” as compiled by the good people at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. They’ve been at this (admittedly silly) exercise since before most groups began naming a “Word of the Year” — the 2016 list was LSSU’s 41st swing at the curve ball that is our ever-changing vocabulary. As usual, they provided a few interesting things to think about.

Click for some interesting things

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WOTY (Word of the Year) 2015 roundup – Part 2

Just before Christmas I promised I’d be back with a follow-up post on the 2015 Word of the Year (WOTY), once the American Dialect Society had selected its winner. They did that on January 8th and here is my promised analysis.

I usually enjoy this part of each year’s WOTY game because the ADS is the only organization that approaches this the right way. They’re not terribly scientific, as OED tries to be. They’re not purely data driven, as Merriam-Webster is. But they use a quasi-democratic approach, with their members nominating words in various categories and then voting on them. They even let the public get involved to a limited extent by accepting open nominations.

Click for more words on words

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WOTY (Word of the Year) 2015 roundup – Part 1

It’s that time of year again! While visions of sugarplums dance in some heads, some of us in the language world see visions of ideograms and phonemes and other symbolic representations, depending on personal inclinations.

That’s right: the Word of the Year (WOTY) declarations are upon us.

Every important WOTY, in one convenient package! Just click!

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