Posts by Julie Ryan Evans

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    Words You Didn’t Know Came From Los Angeles

    From its star-studded studios to its star-lined Walk of Fame, Los Angeles is a city that shines bright, literally and figuratively. There are few things that can’t be found within its sprawling, sunny city limits—it just might take a while to get there, depending on traffic.  Even if you’ve never visited, its influence is still apparent. Los Angeles’s films scream from our screens and its celebrities plaster …

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    What Is The Difference Between “Gender” And “Sex”?

    When two words have the same meaning, we call them synonyms. When two words have different meanings but people use them interchangeably, we write articles about what those words actually mean. Take gender and sex. While people substitute one for the other on the regular, their meaning and usage are significantly—and consequentially—different. Because we’re most often talking about human beings when we use these terms, …

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    Words You Didn’t Know Came From Chicago

    Chi Town, The Big Onion, The Windy City. Call it what you will, Chicago is home to a herd of sports teams that could fill a zoo—the Cubs, the Bears, and the Bulls (and, oh yeah, the White Sox too). Not to mention it’s the land of deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs. It’s a fantastic city filled with museums, shopping, and industry. This midwestern …

  4. What Is An Ally?

    It used to be that when we spoke of allies, it was most likely in a military sense, referring to countries formally banded together, usually by treaty, to fight against their enemies. Today, the word is used more broadly though. What does ally mean today? Ally, the singular form of the noun, is used to describe “someone who supports disenfranchised and underrepresented groups of people within our …

  5. New Year’s vs. New Year: How To Ring In The Year With Good Grammar

    As if the words to “Auld Lang Syne” weren’t difficult enough to remember, ringing in a brand-new year comes with some particularly befuddling grammar landmines. Of course, the punctuation we use when talking about the New Year’s holiday couldn’t do us a solid and follow the same pattern as Veterans Day (note the lack of apostrophe), because … well, that’s the English language for you. Don’t …

  6. “You Guys”: Is There A Better Option?

    Hey, y’all, it’s time to talk about you guys. We don’t mean you specifically … but the term itself. For years, the phrase you guys has been employed as a useful workaround when addressing a mixed-gender group. But as gender norms evolve, the usefulness and appropriateness of you guys comes into question. The gendered baggage of this term has some calling for its retirement from …

  7. 6 Words That Ruin An Apology

    Apologies are easy, or so it would seem. We utter them all the time for minor things without a second thought: “Sorry, I’m running late.” “Sorry, what did you say?” “I’m sorry, but I was here first.”   But making a sincere apology is something else altogether. When we’ve truly wronged someone, it’s important to choose our words carefully to make sure our apology is received …

  8. Learn The History Of The New York Times Crossword Puzzle

    There are plenty of crossword puzzles in publications across the country, but when we think of the pinnacle of puzzledom (Not officially a word, but, perhaps, it should be?), the purveyors of the most preeminent puzzles, we bow to The New York Times (NYT). For more than 75 years, the NYT crossword puzzle has been stumping readers with its clever clues and then sending them …

  9. Why We Say “Boys Will Be Boys” But Not “Girls Will Be Girls”

    Boys will be boys. It’s an idiom we hear tossed around far too often. But, what does it actually mean, and why did we ever start saying it? And … what about girls—who or what will they be? Who decided boys will be boys, anyway? The phrase boys will be boys was first recorded in English in 1589. It originated from a Latin proverb: “Children (boys) …

  10. Five Letter Word For Favorite New York Times Crossword Clues? Witty

    How much do we love the New York Times crossword puzzle? Let us count the ways … never mind, we can’t count that high. We can, however, count on it to continually challenge us with its sagacious clues and delight us when we discover the astute answers that fit just right. While each puzzle offers something unique, with aha moments aplenty, some of their clues …

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