Category Archives: Language

Word of the Year (WOTY) 2016: Part 2. This is not fake news!

At last, for your reading pleasure (or displeasure, as the case may be): the second part of the annual wrap-up of Word of the Year (WOTY) selections and related topics (part one is here). It’s already late January of 2017, … Continue reading

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Word of the Year (WOTY) 2016: Have some post-truth with your democracy sausage!

It’s nearly the end of the year, which means it must be time to collect and review the various Word of the Year (WOTY) nominees and “winners” for 2016. I don’t make any pretense of objectivity: this run-down is thoroughly … Continue reading

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What is a demagogue?

Demagogue is a word which saw increased use during the recent presidential campaign (although it wasn’t used nearly enough in my opinion). It’s one of those political words that you can count on to be thrown around in just about … Continue reading

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Please try to understand: it’s “try to” not “try and”

I’ve often stressed that the observations and advice posted here are primarily about written English, as opposed to spoken English. For a number of reasons written English and spoken English can almost be thought of as two separate languages, or … Continue reading

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Indian summer: what and when is it?

We’re not experiencing it yet where I live (outside of Boston), but it’s that time of year when people start talking about “Indian summer.” I’ve seen a few references to this seasonal quirk lately (including one in something I was … Continue reading

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