6 Stories

You Don't Know as Many Words as You Think You Do

Maybe about 42K if you're a 20-year-old, slightly more if you're older—but definitely not 200K

(Newser) - You don't have to be a lexicographer to have a pretty ample lexicon—but your word knowledge still may not be as ample as you think. At least, that's according to a Ghent University study published in the Frontiers in Psychology , said to be the largest ever of... More »

Stop Using '-Splain' as a Suffix

It's a 'lazy joke,' Katy Waldman writes for Slate

(Newser) - "Mansplain"—the act of a man explaining something to someone, typically a woman, "in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing"—has been a part of our vernacular for a few years now. But writing for Slate , Katy Waldman says "-splain" itself has since become... More »

Five Years Later, 'Truthiness' Endures

Colbert's favorite word is hotter than ever

(Newser) - It was five years ago today, and Stephen Colbert needed a word that could personify the "blowhard" persona he was about to launch on the Colbert Report. He was looking for something "sublimely idiotic," something "silly" with which to mock American pundits, writes Ben Zimmer in... More »

Snide Lexicon Names Aging Female Parts

(Newser) - A humorous glossary, or lexicon of despair? Labels used to describe women's bodies at a certain age "can seem as offensive as teenage behaviour, prompting a need for strict control," Sarah Hampson writes in the Globe & Mail:
  • The Bitch Wrinkle: "Also known as Chapter Eleven
... More »

Dictionary Gives Rare Words One Last Chance

Apodiectic use could save niddering and oppugnant

(Newser) - The Collins English Dictionary is giving rarely used words a last chance before they are dumped from the new edition, Time reports. Language lovers were outraged at plans to  exuviate (shed) words like oppugnant (combative), so the editors have made public a list of 24 candidates for deletion. If the... More »

Eat, Drink, Be Merry With Dictionary's Newest Adds

Invite a 'pescatarian' to your 'infinity pool'

(Newser) - The Merriam-Webster dictionary has added nearly 100 new words based on frequency of use in the American lexicon, the AP reports. "If somebody is using it to convey a specific idea and that idea is successfully conveyed in that word, it's ready to go in the dictionary," said... More »

6 Stories