Word Trends & Stories

  1. Outcry And Other Trending Words This Week

    Inept was up 186% in searches this week . . . and this time it’s about somebody else’s dysfunctional government and leadership team. The Times helped us explain this one: “Malcolm Turnbull, the prime minister, and his deputy, Barnaby Joyce, traded extraordinary public barbs yesterday over an adulterous affair that has gripped the nation and fractured the government. Mr Turnbull said his deputy had ‘appalled everyone’ …

  2. D’oh! Words We Blurt

    Ever trip over a sidewalk curb? Fall down a step? Bump into someone on the street? Push a door the wrong way? What’s your first verbal instinct in these moments of surprise? Is it to blurt out some onomatopoetic non-word (QZ.com refers to them quite accurately as “interjections, exclamations, non-lexical conversational sounds”). Well, whatever they are called, we know a few gut-reaction examples (that have …

  3. A Smack Of Jellyfish And Other Strange Animal Groups

    What do hunting and sexual desires have in common? We could point to several things, but from a linguistic point of view, we’re referring to the archaic word venery, which means both hunting (from the Latin venor) and sexual desire (from Latin veneria, referring to Venus). Strangely, terms of venery is a collective noun that means a group of animals. And, many of these animal …

  4. Words of the 70s

  5. theblackpanthers.com

    The United States of Diversity: Ebonics or AAVE

    Dictionary.com’s United States of Diversity series by Taneesh Khera Welcome back to our United States of Diversity series, where we travel the country exploring the minority languages, dialects, and people that live here. In this episode, we’re happy to give you our tribute to African American Vernacular English (AAVE). Also called Black English or Ebonics, a blend of the words ebony and phonics, AAVE is …

  6. Curling And Other Trending Words This Week

    Mendacity was our top trending word this week, peaking at an 845% increase in searches this week. So, what’s mendacity? Lying, untruthfulness, falsehoods—all mendacity. Here’s why it’s newsworthy this week: Trump haw some mendacity, for sure. Even his lawyers know it, which is why they are advising him not to meet with Mueller re: the Russia investigation, because lying to the FBI, even if you aren’t under …

  7. Negative Or Positive Reinforcement: Which Is Better?

    Negative reinforcement vs. positive reinforcement Most people think that positive reinforcement means to lavish praise or encouragement, and that is a good part of its essence, but not all of it. What is negative reinforcement, then? Is that about withholding praise? Scolding? Admonishing? Positive reinforcement is actually something we’re all pretty familiar with. When you were a kid, did you get a weekly allowance for …

  8. Dictionary.com’s Ways To Rebrand Yourself

  9. www.playbuzz.com/oliviazavala10/which-are-the-most-attractive-accents

    What Makes Accents Appealing?

    What makes certain accents sexy and others harsh? “The RINE in SPINE fawls MINELY on tha PLINE!” In the song “The Rain in Spain” from the musical My Fair Lady, phonetics professor Henry Higgins (‘enry ‘iggins) pleads with Eliza Doolittle to say “Ay not I, O not Ow.” By the end of the song Eliza’s “AY-ing” and “O-ing” and pronouncing all her H’s. The guttersnipe is …

  10. The Origin Stories Behind Gaga And Other Musicians’ Names

        Before he was Snoop Dogg, the West Coast rap icon went by his given name: Cordozar Calvin Broadus. He was named after his stepfather. His stage name was inspired by Snoopy though, a childhood nickname. His parents gave him the pet name because of the way he looked.     She might be known as Iggy Azalea on stage, but this Australian-born rapper’s official name …

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