Being a practical handbook of pertinent expressions, striking similes, literary, commercial, conversational, and oratorical terms, for the embellishment of speech and literature, and the improvement of the vocabulary of those persons who read, write, and speak English
. (Grenville Kleiser
posted by Iridic
on Aug 13, 2014 -
Whether your object's shaped like a ship, a pine cone, a violin, or a bunch of grapes, this handy cheat sheet
from Barbara Ann Kipfer's Flip Dictionary
will tell you the suitable Latinate adjective. [more inside]
posted by Iridic
on Jul 29, 2014 -
31 Adorable Slang Terms for Sexual Intercourse from the Last 600 Years
Lexicographer Jonathon Green’s comprehensive historical dictionary of slang, Green’s Dictionary of Slang, covers hundreds of years of jargon, cant, and naughty talk. He has created a series of online timelines (here and here) where the words too impolite, indecent, or risqué for the usual history books are arranged in the order they came into fashion. (If you don’t see any words on the timelines, zoom out using the bar on the right.) We’ve already had fun with the classiest terms for naughty bits. Here are the most adorable terms for sexual intercourse from the last 600 or so years.
posted by mikeand1
on Jul 18, 2014 -
Literary elites love to rep Shakespeare’s vocabulary: across his entire corpus, he uses 28,829 words, suggesting he knew over 100,000 words and arguably had the largest vocabulary, ever (average people have a vocab of 5,000 words). I decided to compare this data point against the most famous artists in hip hop. I used each artist’s first 35,000 lyrics. That way, prolific artists, such as Jay-Z, could be compared to newer artists, such as Drake.
posted by cthuljew
on May 3, 2014 -
In a move sure to delight MeFites everywhere, Ghent University in Belgium has created an online, almost arcade-game-like test of word knowledge
which is almost BS-proof. Know the word? Press J. Don't? Press F. But don't lie! You will be punished.
posted by grumpybear69
on Jan 29, 2014 -
Please enjoy this smattering of Word of the Day sites and pages: OED
, The Free Dictionary
), Urban Dictionary
(RSS), NY Times Learning Network Blog
), Easy Speak (Toastmasters)
, Wiktionary "Foreign"
, all in OLDO
), and Sesame Street
(not daily, unfortunately).
posted by cog_nate
on Dec 13, 2013 -
"The internationalized art world relies on a unique language. Its purest articulation is found in the digital press release. This language has everything to do with English, but it is emphatically not English. It is largely an export of the Anglophone world and can thank the global dominance of English for its current reach. But what really matters for this language—what ultimately makes it a language—is the pointed distance from English that it has always cultivated. " - Triple Canopy magazine on why do artists' statments and press releases sound so utterly odd and confusing.
posted by The Whelk
on Apr 26, 2013 -
Are you enthusiastic ("pertaining to possession by a deity," from Gk. enthousiastikos "inspired," from enthousiazein
) about Etymology? ( ethimolegia "facts of the origin and development of a word," from O.Fr. et(h)imologie (14c., Mod.Fr. étymologie), from L. etymologia, from Gk. etymologia, properly "study of the true sense (of a word),"
Then why not explore ( 1580s, "to investigate, examine," a back formation from exploration, or else from M.Fr. explorer (16c.), from L. explorare
) the vast resources (1610s, "means of supplying a want or deficiency," from Fr. resourse
) of the ONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARY [more inside]
posted by The Whelk
on Nov 12, 2012 -
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 1, 2012 -
In the late Sixties and early Seventies several experiments were begun to test whether or not a non-human primate could construct a sentence. Several species were involved in these various experiments including the chimpanzees Washoe
, a gorilla named Koko
, and later in the Eighties work began with a bonobo named Kanzi
. While great progress was made in teaching these primates a vocabulary, it would be difficult to see any of these experiments as a success. And all of these projects raised important questions about the ethics
of such experiments. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on Aug 20, 2011 -
is a unique online speaking dictionary that offers clear pronunciations of English words
, slang terms
, technical terms
, brand names
, proper names
, and many foreign words
, including common variations
. Astoundingly, the sound files are not computer-generated
-- every single one of the site's 138,152 entries
are enunciated in the dignified tones of British academic and polyglot Tim Bowyer
, who has steadily expanded its glossary
over the years using logs of unsuccessful searches and direct user suggestions. The site is part of Bowyer's Fonetiks.org family of language sites
, and is also available as a browser extension
and as a mobile app for iPhone/iPod
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 23, 2010 -
International House of Logorrhea
, at The Phrontistry
, a free online dictionary of weird and unusual words to help enhance your vocabulary. Generous language resources, 2 and 3 letter Scrabble words
l The Compass DeRose Guide to Emotion Words
l all kinds of glossaries for color terms
, love and attraction
, scientific instruments
, manias and obsessions
, feeding and eating
, carriages and chariots
, dance styles
and all kinds of fun word stuff. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye
on Jan 11, 2009 -
is a powerful windows
tool for automatically creating crossword puzzles. You can create multiple puzzles from the same word list; print the puzzles in assorted formats; or export interactive puzzles for web pages. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral
on Dec 8, 2008 -
is a collaborative project to create a dictionary of all terms in all languages.
posted by anjamu
on Aug 11, 2006 -
Merrian-Webster open dictionary
"Have you spotted a new word or a new sense for an old word that hasn't made it into the dictionary yet? Well, here's your chance to add your discovery (and its definition) to Merriam-Webster's Open Dictionary"
posted by robbyrobs
on Dec 11, 2005 -
implores his queer peers: What's the Gayest Thing You've Ever Done?
• ''That is SO gay
! I've been thinking about that expression a lot lately. What does it mean? Is it a playground epithet that is simply in vogue with the grown-ups? Or is it a sign that gay culture is so integrated into the pop culture that even the hets now see the evidence of homo-style in their everyday lives, and make jokes about it?" A followup to the original post, Part II
: Flaming Son of "Gay, Gayer, Gayest"
posted by dhoyt
on Feb 4, 2005 -
Collins Word Exchange
"At Collins we pride ourselves on reflecting current language, used by real English speakers across the world."
Collins have launched a public forum designed for (amongst other things) discussing 'new' words and the legitamacy of their inclusion in official dictionaries. Chav
is probably on its way, but I'm no intellectual snob, but bounce-backability
? Even I'd balk at that one.
And, just remember kids, flip-flopper
is not valid for use in scrabble
posted by qwerty155
on Dec 16, 2004 -
A linguist from the University of Pittsburgh has published a scholarly paper
deconstructing and deciphering the word "dude," contending it is much more than a catchall for lazy, inarticulate surfers
. An admitted dude-user during his college years, Scott Kiesling
said the four-letter word has many uses, all of which express closeness between men in a safely heterosexual manner. How about you? Do you do the dude? If so, does that mean you're white
posted by owenville
on Dec 8, 2004 -
More on arithmetic in the Amazon
The 10/15 issue of Science has the official publication of Peter Gordon's work on numerical cognition among the Pirahã, and a companion article by Pierre Pica et al. on similar research among another Amazonian tribe, the Mundurukú. What with the U.S. election and the discovery of H. Floresiensis, this is not getting nearly as a much play as the pre-publication back in August of Peter Gordon's work.
Brian Butterworth has an piece
in the Guardian about both articles, and I've put some links, quotes and diagrams here
Compared to the reports on the Pirahã, the Mundurukú people, language, and experiments are all somewhat different, although the conclusions are broadly similar.
posted by myl
on Oct 31, 2004 -
is an audacious project which is attempting to write a limerick for every word in the English language. 642 limericks
have been completed so far. Here's an overview
of the project. Is it possible? Here's what editor-in-chief Chris J. Stolin says:
Skeptics say it's inconceivable.(via languagehat.)
posted by Vidiot
on Aug 18, 2004 -
A new OED? Unbelievable!
But I feel secure
That if we only endure,
It's a goal that is wholly achievable!
Home of Central Command and Al Jazzera television, it's a small oil-rich country we've all heard of, and that's the problem: I hear Qatar called Cutter, Gutter, Katar, and Kwatar.
How do the Qataris' pronounce it; is it possible to accurately pronounce foreign words in English? Who decides? More inside...
posted by Mack Twain
on Mar 29, 2003 -
Dungeons and Dragons, bigorexia, arse-licker, bass-ackward...
The online OED (Oxford English Dictionary) quarterly adds a host of new words to the canon of what has become the standard dictionary of the english language(s). Some of the new and spicey words are: arsehole, arseholed, arse-lick,arse-licker, ass-backward,
ass-backwards, bass-ackward, bass-ackwards, dragon lady,
Dungeons and Dragons, telenovela, and transgenderist!!
Thank the gods of language for these new words! So what is you favorite new word and why?
posted by mfoight
on Mar 17, 2003 -