Tag Archives: new words

As Language Evolves, Should You Follow The Trends?

dictionary_new_wordsLanguage continually evolves. At this time of year in particular, we consider words that have emerged to describe new fields, new products or new phenomena.

The Oxford English Dictionary listed 1,346 new words as of September 2016. Yikes!

nws.merriam-webster.com has introduced new words and slang from 2016. Submitted by the public, some are clever and useful, others are simply silly, and some are grammatically unsound.
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Got Grammar Pet Peeves? You’re Not Alone

annoyed_grammar_pet_peevesI invited those of you on my email list to share your grammar pet peeves, and the results are in!

First: What is grammar? Grammar encompasses the words we choose and how we punctuate them — how we string them together.

Words give our sentences meaning, and punctuation marks tell us when to pause or stop, when to raise our voice or show emotion, when we’re asking a question versus making a statement.

Here are your pet peeves: ways others speak and write that you find annoying. They’re alphabetized so you can skim and select what interests or resonates with you. I’ve commented here and there and added examples. Continue

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Get Out Of Your Rut: Fresh Ways To Say ‘Great’!

Holding up a trophy - alternatives to the word greatHow often do you use “Great!” to describe a movie you just saw, a vacation you just took, a meal you just ate in your favorite restaurant?

I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to using the well-worn superlative “Great!” to describe just about anything I consider enjoyable or first-rate. This Ruthless Editor and “word lady,” as some call me, gets lazy … and boring.

When I happened on blogger Brian Wasko’s post “100 Ways to Say ‘Great!” I knew I wanted to share it with you. Continue

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Language Evolves: New Words From 2015

 let's also acknowledge that language is dynamic; it necessarily evolves so we can communicate clearly.The English language evolves daily. I enjoy following other grammar blogs, because I love learning from people who take as much interest in words and punctuation as I do.

However, it was disconcerting to see a recent blog — apparently fairly popular — that praised a resource published in 1926 and “lightly revised” in 1965. 1965? That was 50 years ago! Continue

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Prospective vs. Perspective And Other P-Words Worth Knowing

The Jesus Cow, and the use of preternatural. It means beyond what is normal or natural; extraordinary, exceptional, remarkable. A friend has been urging me to write about the difference between prospective and perspective because an announcer she listens to often — on National Public Radio, no less — apparently keeps getting it wrong.

While I’m in the p’s, I’m going to clarify one word — peruse — and add a couple I see from time to time that I don’t consider part of everyday conversations: prescient and preternatural. Hey, it never hurts to be a word or two ahead of the crowd! Continue

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The Vocabulary Of Strife, Violence, Oppression

Map with footprints - people on the move, what words are correct (grammar)The world is witnessing an escalation in the number of people forced to flee from conflict, wars and persecution. Populations are on the move around the globe, escaping oppression and violence and searching for a better life.

We hear about immigrants, refugees, fugitives and exiles. What are the implications of these terms? And how do people in these categories differ from migrants and itinerantsContinue

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Here A Hack, There A Hack, Everywhere A Hack Hack

Words Gear Graphic says tips tricks hacks adviceWhen I walked past the television set one morning to start my exercise routine, I heard something about “summertime hacks.” The show’s host was interviewing a guy who was providing tips for enjoying the outdoors and patio living.

Hacks? The use of hack in this context was new to me, so my radar kicked in. Within days, I found numerous online examples of hack: Continue

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Impactful, Overstored, Calendaring: Valid Words?

The real deal - grunge stampMy ruthless editor radar operates nonstop. Here are some words I happened on recently in print that made me grab my laptop for a quick Google search.

Impactful
I address the general acceptance of impact as either a noun or a verb later in this post, but using impactful as an adjective still often is viewed as incorrect.

However, change is in the air; grammarist.com claims, “The word is here to stay, whether we like it or not.”

What’s the difference between powerful, influential and impactful? The site claims that impactful has become entrenched in our language because “many people don’t find it to be an exact synonym of those words and that it has shades of meaning all its own.” Continue

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Trending ‘Ask’: Noun Or Verb?

Be open to change!A recent email from a reader described staffers who use “ask” as a noun rather than a verb:

The ask I have today is …

The ask I was given was to draft a white paper …

Because I have not heard ask used this way, I hopped online to see what I could learn. Ask isn’t a new word, of course, but does it have a new application, a new meaning? A March 2013 (2 years ago!) New York Times article addressed it this way: Continue

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