As the snow starts to melt over here on the East Coast of the US following ‘Snowzilla’, thoughts are turning (and in the case of journalists, turned long ago) to the start of the primary season, when votes are cast to choose each party’s presidential nominee. It’s a complicated and sometimes very long process, beginning […]
As a publicist, I spend a lot of time writing: pitch letters, press releases, emails, they take up the large part of my day. Then on rare occasions, when I unchain myself from my desk and get out into the world to have live conversations with people, it can feel like all sense of spoken […]
Popular culture . . . In 2010, much of our uneasy fascination turned from zombie banks to plain old zombies. Well, maybe not “plain old.” It’s been a phenomenal year for zombies, who have commanded huge markets in the entertainment industry and a seemingly insatiable fan base. As zombies roamed the planet, another breed of […]
Refute, repudiate, refuse? They can be confusing! When Sarah Palin keyed the word “refudiate” into some Twitter messages in 2010, it became an instant sensation, especially among her critics, who mocked the former governor for her use of a word that does not exist. But Palin was by no means the first person to say or […]
Followers of Sarah Palin’s Twitter account will undoubtedly recognize the New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2010: refudiate verb used loosely to mean “reject”: she called on them to refudiate the proposal. [origin — blend of refute and repudiate] Refudiate: A Historical Perspective An unquestionable buzzword in 2010, the word refudiate instantly […]
Sarah Palin, the once and (perhaps) future candidate for higher political office, recently discovered the perils of neologizing, when she several times used the previously unknown word refudiate in a series of tweets about the potential building of a mosque near ground zero in Manhattan. The condemnation of her word choice was swift and brutal, and […]
A noun and a verb sit at a bar. Verb: ‘Hey, wanna go back to my place and conjugate?’ Noun: ‘I decline.’ Tweet us your #languagejokes!