Articles, quizzes, and grammar tips for word-lovers everywhere

Reverting back to another language no-no

Tautology wordle

In my fearless quest to seek out and eradicate lazy, ineffective, or just downright inaccurate English, the latest blip to appear on my radar was an example of redundancy (aka tautology), which appeared on a medical website. By returning back to a more traditional diet they become healthier and stronger. Why is this raising my […]

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Laptop wires

Are you a n00b or a netizen?

Do you think a cookie is just something in your kitchen (or your tummy)? Would it surprise you to hear that phishing is an illegal activity?  To you, is ‘browse history’ something you did during school when you were assigned more reading than you wanted to do? Volumes have been written on the effects of […]

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How a new word enters an Oxford Dictionary

New word infographic

We’ve recently updated Oxford Dictionaries Online with bajillions of new words and terms, from fnarr fnarr and nom nom to mankini and luchador. But have you ever wondered how a word earns its place in Oxford Dictionaries Online? We’ve created this handy infographic to show you the journey of a word, from its inception to […]

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Fnarr fnarr, phwoah, and mwah

Onomatopoeia

Taking a first glance at a list of recent additions to a dictionary, most of us will instinctively seek out the very new. Sometimes it’s their simple sparkle of novelty that attracts – the latest updates to Oxford Dictionaries Online include ‘upcycling’, ‘surveilling’ and ‘wantaway’; others engage through the picture they give of the world […]

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New words in Oxford Dictionaries Online. Woot!

New words in Oxford Dictionaries Online

We’ve just added a buttload of new bloggable words to Oxford Dictionaries Online. But watch out, the new additions to the dictionary are so exciting you may be tempted to let your jazz hands loose… Fnarr fnarr! TMI coming into your feature phone Everyone seems to have a feature phone today, making communication on the […]

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And the Oscar goes to …

Oscars

The 2011 Academy Awards® take place this Sunday, 27 February, the culmination of months of speculation about who will wear what, who will have the hardest time with the TelePrompTer, and, of course, who will win. But regardless of who goes home with an Oscar—whether it’s Natalie Portman for playing a tormented ballerina or Annette […]

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Wake up and smell ODO’s latest additions!

Babycino

There is very little that thrills the heart of a lexicographer quite so much as the smell of new words. Fresh, piquant, and uncluttered by the barnacle-like clichés that attach themselves to so many words which have been around for hundreds of years, these recent additions to the language breathe fresh life into it, and […]

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Shifted meanings: nice and egregious

Nice and egregious wordle

Many of the words that have been in the English language for more than a few hundred years have shifted their meaning somewhat. The first meaning of the word secretary was exactly what it looks like it should be – someone who keeps secrets. And similarly, principal meant ‘of or belonging to a prince’ well before it […]

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