In the News

  1. debate

    Your Candidate in a Word

    We can learn a lot about our presidential candidates from the individual words they use. Through computational analysis, we’ve pulled together lists of words that each candidate tends to use more frequently than their competition. These words shed light on the issues, policies, and rhetoric of individual candidates on an extremely granular level, ultimately giving us valuable insight into the people vying for the title …

  2. By the Numbers: The Language of Political Parties Today

    You can learn a lot about politicians from the words they use. Recently Five Thirty Eight had political speech writer Jeff Nussbaum construct and annotate “the Perfect Stump Speech” for imaginary Democratic and Republican candidates. Even without the expertise of a seasoned political speechwriter, it’s possible to gain insight on the words and rhetoric of a political party through computational analysis.

  3. There’s a Word for Why Adele’s Music Makes You Cry

    Adele, whose single “Hello” debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 list in 2015, will be performing at this year’s Grammy Awards. Year after year, one thing remains constant with the Grammy winner’s music: It makes the tears flow.

  4. All Men Must Die: The Lexicon of Game of Thrones

  5.’s 2015 Word of the Year: Identity

    In 2015, saw a number of themes emerge in the words that gained enough traction to be added to the dictionary along with words that trended in user lookups. The most prominent theme across both of these areas was in the expanding and increasingly fluid nature of conversations about gender and sexuality. Additionally, the theme of racial identity led to some of the most …

  6. Feels, Facepalm & Fleek: New Words Added to the Dictionary

    In our latest update to the dictionary, we added more than 150 new words and definitions, and revised over 1,000 entries. New additions such as feels, yaaas, and doge highlight the role of social media in transmitting and popularizing new terms, while fitness tracker, digital wallet, and Internet of Things demonstrate the new ways that technological innovation is changing the way we live and speak …

  7. 20 Words That Mean More Than They Did 20 Years Ago

    For many of us, 1995 feels like just yesterday. The year marked the unveiling of Amazon, “the Rachel” haircut, and the Frappuccino. But there’s no denying that when it comes to technological advancements, 1995 was a lifetime ago. Twenty years ago, the dial-up modem and the VCR were among the prevailing technologies of the day. Today, smartphones and social media are cornerstones of daily life, and this momentous shift …

  8. clown, vintage, train car

    Why are we calling the GOP presidential slate a “clown car”?

    The humble clown car has been having a resurgence of late. Not the actual vehicle (the overstuffed car which spills out a seemingly improbable number of red-nosed and bewigged jesters), but the phrase. The reason for this has much to do with the crowded slate of candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination; there are over a dozen declared candidates who are household names, and …

  9. wedding rings

    The Future of the Word “Partner”

    With the Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage, what happens to the word partner?

  10. The Deep Web vs. The Dark Web’s latest update contains many terms ushered into existence because of technological advancements. Two of these new entries, deep web and dark web, are so technical in nature that we came across a lot of confusion as to what they actually mean in our research. More tech-savvy publications generally have a disclaimer when discussing the dark web, pleading with their readers that this is not …

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