Hobbies & Passions

  1. Getty

    From The Grammys To The Oscars: The Stories Behind The Names

    We are approaching the end of the awards season, which begins each year with the Emmy Awards in November and culminates with the Academy Awards in February. (The Tonys are a summertime outlier.) Rare talents can sometimes win all four of the major performing arts awards–an almost mythic achievement known colloquially as an EGOT : an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. There …

  2. Getty

    Why Roman Numerals Are The Super Bowl’s Signature

    Sure, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, (World Cup fans, feel free to weigh in here) and an unofficial national holiday in the United States. But, do you know how the Super Bowl got its name? Or why it uses Roman numerals? How did the Super Bowl get its name? In the 1960s, American pro football was divided …

  3. Nazi vs. Fascist: Is There Really A Difference?

    Linguists have a bunch of fancy words to describe language evolution. When a word’s meaning becomes more negative over time, it’s referred to as  pejoration . The opposite–when a meaning is viewed in a more positive light over time–is called  melioration . Word evolution like this is pretty common; some words even manage to go through both pejoration and melioration. Two such words that have …

  4. Where Did The Word “Pizza” Come From, Anyway?

    The origin of the word pizza The word pizza as we now know it is recorded in English in the early 1800s, though early English lexicographer John Florio enters pizza for “a small cake or wafer” in his historically important 1598 Italian-English dictionary. Pizza, of course, is borrowed from Italian, but the deeper ingredients of the word, if you will, are unclear. Some think the Greek pitta …

  5. Famous Sayings That Became Catalysts For Social Change

    Phrases like sit-in or bra-burning might not currently mean much to you. But, these phrases (or calls to action), and the movements that coined them, are the reasons why we continue to fight for social justice today. A catalyst is “a person or thing that precipitates an event or change” (and that’s just one of the definitions of the word.  But back to these early calls to …

  6. Bullet Journaling And Other Writing Trends That Keep Coming Back

  7. Where Does Champagne Get Its Name?

    Champagne has been associated with luxury, special occasions, and rites of passage since the days of French royalty when kings were anointed with bubbly. But not just any bottle of the sparkly stuff gets to be called a champagne. Where did this festive libation get its name? And what makes a champagne a champagne? What champagne is made from Champagne is a sparkling wine made …

  8. The Surprisingly Religious Background Of “Golly,” “Gosh,” And “Gee”

    Gosh, golly, and gee casually express surprise or excitement, right? Well, yes, but when they were first introduced to the English language, these short words had a much more serious origin and purpose. Where did golly, gosh, and gee come from? While this folksy trio are informal interjections, they are also euphemistic alterations of the word God  or, in the case of gee, Jesus . The use of gosh …

  9. Old School Latin Phrases We’re Still Using In Everyday English

  10. 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 …

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