Tag: nuance

We need to talk about literally

Literally

Hold the front pages, literally. Or not. There has been much excitement this week over the discovery that the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has recorded a sense of the word literally that seems to cause particular irritation. I am speaking of its use in a sentence like “I literally died laughing and had to run […]

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It’s all about the nuance – synonyms and the Oxford English Corpus

It’s all about the nuance

There are few words that share an exact set of definitions – it is almost a guarantee that there will be some subtle differences between one word and its synonym.  Sometimes these nuances are so subtle that they can be difficult to articulate fully in a definition, and only become apparent through examining usage. Oxford […]

Sesquipedalian

Sesquipedalian ruminations (or, thinking about long words)

It appears to be human nature to have a fascination with long or strange words. Most people, if you care to ask them about it, have a handful of words that they consider to be favorites, and very rarely is it that anyone admits that their favorite word is ‘kite’ or ‘plant’. Rather, the words […]

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