Tag Archives: skunked term

WOTY 2017 (Part 2): “Fake News” All Over Again.

On January 5th, the American Dialect Society announced the results of its voting for Word of the Year (WOTY). They went with fake news which, if you’ve read my previous post, was a choice you might not think I’d approve of. … Continue reading

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Disperse vs. Disburse

As an editor, you’re exposed to all kinds of weird language use: convoluted sentence structures, idiosyncratic punctuation, unique and unorthodox uses of the formatting features in a word processor. You name it, it’s there. One oddity you’ll always encounter is … Continue reading

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Racialism: it’s not the same as racism. Or is it?

The word “racialist” got tossed around in public for a day or two last week after Hillary Clinton used it in a speech. Here’s what Clinton said: No one should have any illusions about what’s really going on here. The … Continue reading

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Riffle vs. Rifle: Is this one all shot to pieces?

Running across constructions like these is fairly common: He rifled the pages until he came to the entry on 15th century firearms. She rifled through the desk looking for the incriminating file. He rifled through her purse, but couldn’t find … Continue reading

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Amidst, Amongst, Whilst: Please Resist Usingst Themst!

On my mind this week are a trio of words which sometimes catch my attention (rarely in positive ways): amidst, amongst, and whilst. Most sources note (with various amounts of further explanation) that these words are flowery variants of their … Continue reading

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