Tag: Merriam-Webster

November 20, 2017

Book Review: Word by Word

Disclosure: I received a free advance review copy of this book from the publisher, Pantheon Books. I also consider Kory Stamper a friend. A lot of work goes into making a book, from the initial writing and development to editing, copyediting, design and layout, proofreading, and printing. Orders of magnitude more work go into making […]

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Book Reviews 0 Replies to “Book Review: Word by Word
September 8, 2016

To Boldly Split Infinitives

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the first airing of Star Trek, so I thought it was a good opportunity to talk about split infinitives. (So did Merriam-Webster, which beat me to the punch.) If you’re unfamiliar with split infinitives or have thankfully managed to forget what they are since your high school days, it’s […]

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Grammar, Usage 8 Replies to “To Boldly Split Infinitives”
June 15, 2016

Sorry, Merriam-Webster, but Hot Dogs Are Not Sandwiches

On the Friday before Memorial Day, Merriam-Webster sent out this tweet: Have a great #MemorialDayWeekend. The hot dog is a sandwich. https://t.co/KeNiTAxPAm — Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) May 27, 2016 They linked to this post describing ten different kinds of sandwiches and asserted that “yes, the hot dog is one of them.” They say, We know: the […]

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Semantics 12 Replies to “Sorry, Merriam-Webster, but Hot Dogs Are Not Sandwiches”
June 10, 2014

Do Usage Debates Make You Nauseous?

Several days ago, the Twitter account for the Chicago Manual of Style tweeted, “If you’re feeling sick, use nauseated rather than nauseous. Despite common usage, whatever is nauseous induces nausea.” The relevant entry in Chicago reads, Whatever is nauseous induces a feeling of nausea—it makes us feel sick to our stomachs. To feel sick is […]

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Usage, Words 18 Replies to “Do Usage Debates Make You Nauseous?”
November 20, 2012

The Enormity of a Usage Problem

Recently on Twitter, Mark Allen wrote, “Despite once being synonyms, ‘enormity’ and ‘enormousness’ are different. Try to keep ‘enormity’ for something evil or outrageous.” I’ll admit right off that this usage problem interests me because I didn’t learn about the distinction until a few years ago. To me, they’re completely synonymous, and the idea of […]

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Semantics, Usage, Words 15 Replies to “The Enormity of a Usage Problem”
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