Category Archives: Language

History of English (Animated)

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Erin McKean (Wordnik) @TED: The Joy of Lexicography

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The Empirical Lexicographer

Lexicographer: A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge, that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words–Samuel Johnson After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious … Continue reading

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OED Revisits “Information”

Last month, the Oxford English Dictionary published online a revised entry for the word ā€œinformation.ā€ The revision tells a lot about our evolving relations with reference information and the much-discussed accuracy of information on the Web as opposed to print … Continue reading

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Do You Want to Be a Culturomist?

Science published yesterday a “Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books,” an analysis of all the words in about “4% of all books ever printed.” The article (modestly) heralds the arrival of Culturomics, a “new science” which “extends … Continue reading

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Save-the-Words Campaign

Pick an endangered word and sign a pledge promising to work it into your everyday communication as much as possible. Mine is Historiaster, or contemptible historian. I’m thinking of creating a Historiasters Hall of Fame. Or maybe I should go … Continue reading

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