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Below is everything (newest at top) with "culture+humor+language+english" in its title or subcategories. For a strict listing (matching all categories and subcats), click here

CHEST OF DRAWERS VS. BUREAU: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE
( education / language / english )

Because I keep wondering what to call that thing we have in our entryway/foyer (another term I go back and forth on)! Here is an explanation: The main difference between the chest of drawers and the bureau is that a chest has multiple compartments while a bureau has only one large compartment. A b... read more

LAMBAST VS. LAMBASTE
( education / language / english )

While the exact derivation of the word is not definitively known, the OED posits that it's a combination of lam and baste, both of which bear the sense (now archaic for both words) to beat soundly. Other sources agree. And lambaste is the older form. In historical Google Books searches, lambast... read more

WORD OF THE DAY: FASCISM
( education / language / english )

Fascism is not an ideology, it's a means to power -- Benito Mussolini According to Merriam Webster online, it means: a political philosophy, movement, or regime... that exalts nation and often race above the individual.... read more

FOREIGN WORDS WE USE IN ENGLISH
( education / language / english )

This first one, lexico , is a great site on this subject, though a LOT of the words they list are never used by anyone but dilettantes (from the French and, surprisingly, not listed there). ... read more

AMERICAN-ENGLISH WORDS THAT SEEM TO BE UNIVERSAL
( education / language / english )

Judging by foreign-language TV shows/movies I've watched, here are a few English and/or American-English words / mutterings / phrases that now seem universal, no matter which language you speak: "Mm-hmm" or "uh-huh" - meaning "yes"; "OK" or "okay&qu... read more

WHEN TO USE "WHO" INSTEAD OF "WHOM"
( education / language / grammar / english )

Almost everyone uses the word "whom" incorrectly. "Whom" is ONLY correct when following a preposition as in "of whom," "to whom," "from whom," etc. That is the ONLY time you use "whom" instead of "who." And, yes, even your English... read more

WHAT IS TITLE CASE?
( education / language / grammar / english )

This might be useful: title-case-capitalization Title case is one of the conventions used for capitalizing the words in a title, subtitle, heading, or headline: capitalize the first word, the last word, and all major words in between. Al... read more

SHOULD I CAPITALIZE THAT DOG BREED NAME?
( education / language / grammar / english )

In a word, no. See style.mla /capitalizing-names-of-dog-breeds Do not routinely capitalize the names of dog breeds. Many breed names are composed of proper nouns that you capitalize like Boston and generic terms (like retriever or terr... read more

MANGLED ENGLISH
( culture / humor / language / english )

This is pretty old, from the old newsletter in 1992, when the Soviet Union still existed, but it's still funnyHow English is Being Used in Different Parts of the WorldIN A TOKYO HOTEL: Is forbitten to steal hotel towels please. If you are not person to do such thing please not to re... read more

ANOTHER GRAMMAR COMPLAINT
( education / language / grammar / english )

I used to be able to spot junk email by its bad grammar, spelling and punctuation. Now, even "legitimate" emails often fail the test. It makes the grammar Nazi in me very sad.... read more

THIS WEEK'S LITERACY RANT
( education / language / grammar / english )

OK, people, the word is "led" (when pronounced "led") not "lead" unless you're referring to the metal. I'm not surprised to see this in social media where it's acceptable (cool, even) to be completely illiterate, but I keep seeing it in news articles written... read more

COOL WEBSITE: WORDNIK
( education / language / english )

Wordnik. Cool website for those who like words. I love how they provide samples from articles on the internet. And they provide an explanation/definition to links (i... read more

WORD OF THE DAY: DINKUM
( education / language / english )

(DING-kuhm)Dinkum, also dinky-di, fair dinkum, adjectiveTrue; honest; genuine. Etymology: Probably derived, like many other Australian words, from English dialect. The counties of Lincolnshire and Derbyshire had a word or dincum meaning "work; a fair share of work." The word was first reco... read more

WORD OF THE DAY: PARSIMONIOUS
( education / language / english )

Our word of the day is parsimonious(par-si-MO-nee-uhs)adjective: Excessively sparing or frugal. Etymology From Middle English parcimony, from Latin parsimonia, from parcere (to spare). First recorded use: 1598. Usage "President Calvin Coolidge was so with words that he became kn... read more

AWARD-WINNING ENGLISH PROSE
( culture / humor / language / english )

Every year, English teachers from across the USA can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year's winners.1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a... read more


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