Category Archives: Language

impnoncoop?

What’s an impnoncoop? I love stumbling upon new words, even ones that have been accidentally coined. This one is beautiful. In the weeds of a recent poll conducted by The Economist and YouGov, this word—impnoncoop—appears. You’ll find the first instance … Continue reading

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When Words Are Too Much Of A Good Thing

Words. We can’t live with them, but we can’t live without them. By which I mean that words are absolutely necessary for human interaction on all levels, even unspoken ones—human perception and behavior are so thoroughly intertwined with language that … Continue reading

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Times Less and Times Fewer? Bad Choices.

What’s wrong with the following two sentences? “At its closest approach, New Horizons swooped to within 3,500 kilometers of MU69, more than three times as close as the probe got to Pluto.” Science News, February 2, 2019. “That’s about twice … Continue reading

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Irregular verbs are dying out. But they’ll outlive you!

What are regular and irregular verbs? Why do they exist? How do you spot them? How do you use them? When will we be rid of them? A brief, recent discussion online reminded me of some interesting research a few … Continue reading

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Zombie Nouns—Undead Words Begging For A Head Shot?

As an editing professional I spend a lot of time making writing better, and that usually includes “tightening it up”—a polite way of saying that you cut things. You go after unneeded words and phrases, sentences that are misplaced or … Continue reading

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