Current Events

  1. The Origin (And Grammar) Of Father’s Day

    While Mother’s Day became an official holiday in 1914, Father’s Day took a little longer to be considered a national holiday. And its origin, sadly, lies in two, unrelated tragic events. How did Father’s Day begin? About six months after the Monongah mining disaster of 1907, in which the small West Virginia town lost over 350 men, Grace Golden Clayton organized an event to honor the …

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    The Forgotten Verses Of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

    Do you know all the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner”? Many people have difficulty memorizing the lyrics of the first verse of this song, which is commonly performed at sports events and other public gatherings. But did you know that there are three additional verses that we almost never hear? How did the “Star-Spangled Banner” become the US National Anthem? In 1814, the poet and …

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    Why Is “Bisexual” Such A Charged Word?

    by Rory GoryBisexual people make up 52 percent of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) community, but in recent years, the words to describe the identity of someone who is attracted to more than one gender have become increasingly complex. As the conversation around gender identity has expanded, so, too, has the language to describe both gender and sexuality as well as the complex interaction …

  4. What Is The Former Name Of Memorial Day?

    Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May and marks the solemn time when Americans honor the soldiers that died in military service. What was the original name of Memorial Day? When the observance was first declared in 1868 by General John Logan, it was called Decoration Day in reference to a tradition of decorating the graves of those whose lives were lost in the …

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    Happy Memorial Day: Is There A Better Way To Say It?

    There are plenty of joyous holidays that appropriately get celebrated by wishing someone a happy day. The Fourth of July, Hanukkah, Easter, Thanksgiving … each a holiday celebrating jubilation over specific events, be they religious or historic. But, what about holidays based on serious reverence or an acknowledgement of a struggle? There’s certainly a lot of discussion surrounding the act of wishing someone a “Happy …

  6. What Word Is Your State Looking Up On Mother’s Day?

    By now, we trust you’re not looking up when Mother’s Day is. Surely you’re just consulting the dictionary for the perfect words to grace your mother’s card, right? Well, the numbers don’t lie—and especially not to mothers. Our Data Scientists analyzed what users looked up on Dictionary.com on Mother’s Day in 2018 and found these as the top trends by state. They give and they …

  7. Is “Anti” Actually An Inclusive Term?

    When we think of positive language, anti isn’t the first word that comes to mind. In fact, anti seems like the very opposite of it. The word is a verbal line in the sand—a division between people who are for something and those who are against it. So, it might surprise you to know that the negative anti is being hailed as a more inclusive way to …

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    What Is A “Ban”?

    The word ban gets bandied about a lot these days, from vegan brides wanting to ban meat-eaters from their weddings to plastic straws getting banned from coffee drinks. On an individual level, banning things we don’t like or agree with can be an easy way to rid them from our life. But, zoom out to a governmental and societal level, and bans become much more complex. What …

  9. We’ve Added Over 300 New Words To Dictionary.com!

    JSYK, we’ve added new words and definitions to the dictionary. Over 300 of them in 2019, in fact. This is one case, we think, where JOMO just doesn’t apply. We’re sure you’ve guessed by now that these additions include some new internet slang abbreviations, like JSYK (“just so you know”) and JOMO (“joy of missing out”), that reflect how technology is influencing modern life—and modern …

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    How Did April 1 Become “April Fools’ Day”?

    For pranksters and mischievous older siblings all around the world, April Fools’ Day, or All Fools’ Day, is as eagerly anticipated as Christmas. What other holiday encourages you to think up elaborate hoaxes, swap your spouse’s keys, or trick your friend into thinking their car got towed? But how did this odd, prank-centric holiday come to be celebrated in the first place, and why is …

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