Ask the Editors @ Merriam-Webster's
November 20, 2009 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Merriam-Webster's Ask the Editors blog is the centerpiece of the Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary site. It is an excellent source of sensible advice about English language and usage. Editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski also has a Twitter feed where he highlights various interesting things about words. Finally, Merriam-Webster has started producing Ask the Editor videos, four so far, where they've tackled the subjects of i before e, classical roots, affect vs. effect and how news stories affect what words people look up online, in this case focusing on the effect of the coverage of Michael Jackson's death. Incidentally, Merriam-Webster have released their top ten words of 2009 list, which is based on what words people looked up.
posted by Kattullus (15 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
You can sign up for word of the day emails too. Very wonderful.
posted by bearwife at 12:24 PM on November 20, 2009

Good lord, videos?

I mean, um... why are dictionary editors so sexy?
posted by rokusan at 12:28 PM on November 20, 2009

Don't you mean why are librarians so sexy?
posted by Kattullus at 12:42 PM on November 20, 2009

Wow, this is great, thanks!

The video on the connection between Michael Jackson's death and the most looked-up words was remarkable. Not least because it gave me hope for our species that people are actually looking up words they don't know.

I think everyone who hears an unfamiliar word and goes to look it up deserves a gold star for the week, seriously!
posted by ErikaB at 12:43 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

[This is good]
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:49 PM on November 20, 2009

Kattullus's job here is to explain all my bad jokes.
posted by rokusan at 12:57 PM on November 20, 2009

Also, to provide a little bit of wind in the sails of the "why are librarians so" autocomplete movement.
posted by Kattullus at 1:03 PM on November 20, 2009

Yeah, Michael Jackson. Search terms are such a rich mine: this is why Google will rule us all someday. Well, more than they already rule us, anyway.

Google's Flu Trends is a neat and worthwhile application of that.
posted by rokusan at 1:07 PM on November 20, 2009

why are librarians so nugatory?
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:10 PM on November 20, 2009

Yay, word nerd porn!
posted by neewom at 1:16 PM on November 20, 2009

Don't you mean, why are librarians so nougatty?

(sweet and creamy on the insides, so I hear)
posted by explosion at 1:20 PM on November 20, 2009

Most looked-up yesterday: 'rogue.' 'Rouge' fell to 5th place.
about 1 hour ago from web

posted by bondcliff at 1:24 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

Why are librarians so into Nugent?
posted by stavrogin at 1:40 PM on November 20, 2009


Bring it on, baby.
posted by elder18 at 2:15 PM on November 20, 2009

M-W's list of Words of the Year is a lot LESS nugatory than the Oxford American words I recently posted about. Good for them.

Interesting that last year we had Maverick, this year Rogue, both of which Sarah Palin's fans had to look up to figure out. With any luck, next year they'll be learning the meaning of Sociopath.

Was M-W doing this back when the Simpsons introduced the word "cromulent"?
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:00 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

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