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

movie reel

Origin stories: fictional titles and their lasting impressions

How I stopped worrying and learned to love the language To avoid appearing like simple-minded vessels of superficial consumption, we often try not to let on the extent to which media has come to inform our lives. From the time we are young, we’re encouraged to value real-life experiences over the simulated kind found in […]

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accept_blog

Accept or except?

 ? The British really are mad as hatters – present company accepted of course. Do you accept that the above sentence is good English (please disregard the sentiments expressed therein!)? How about these two examples – would you take exception to them? ? She excepts everyone for what they are and I think this is […]

I’ll teach you how to “stunt”

bling dollar

In 2003, 50 Cent and his fellow G-Unit rappers released a song called “Stunt 101”, in which they claim to “teach you how to stunt”. I’ve been listening to this song for years without a second thought, but now it occurs to me that this verb stunt is completely baffling–what on earth does it mean!? […]

catching fire

8 words you need to know to survive The Hunger Games

Happy Hunger Games! With the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire at cinemas, what better time to explore some of the core vocabulary from this epic series. Need some background? For the full picture on the language of The Hunger Games, read our blog post. Whether your arena is a jungle, a desert, or […]

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Turkey dinner

From 1621 to 1863: giving thanks for new words of old

America’s “First Thanksgiving” is often attributed to the early 17th century (1621, in fact) when a small band of Pilgrims gathered with a small band of American Indians to partake together of a bountiful harvest at Plymouth Plantation. This celebration lasted a whopping three days—and it wasn’t called “Thanksgiving”. Only in 1863 was the annual […]

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Doctor Who, in an Exciting Adventure with the Lexicographers (part 2)

Doctor Who

Following on from part 1 of Doctor Who, in an Exciting Adventure with the Lexicographers, Second Lexicographer takes the reins and looks into the language of Doctor Who throughout the years.   SECOND LEXICOGRAPHER: Hm. Feels different this time… Nope, still not ginger. Something missing though… Ahah! No Adam’s apple! So, while I’m waiting for […]

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Doctor Who, in an Exciting Adventure with the Lexicographers (part 1)

Doctor Who

If you could touch the alien sand and hear the cry of strange birds and watch them wheel in another sky, would that satisfy you? FIRST LEXICOGRAPHER: With this tantalizing question, William Hartnell opened the doors of the Tardis to reveal to its new and rather sceptical crew their first destination in an adventure which […]

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planets

‘Selfie’: the interplanetary Word of the Year 2013

When we announced the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013 as ‘selfie’ earlier this week, we knew the word had international relevance (one of the reasons why we thought it merited the title of Word of the Year), but we didn’t know it had interplanetary reach until we saw this tweet from @MarsCuriosity showing […]

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