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Space Age Lingo Is Still in Orbit Jul. 10, 2019

The Word Guy

As the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing blasts off, commentators will surely cite the spa... Read More

One Small Misstep for a Man? Jul. 03, 2019

The Word Guy

Did Neil Armstrong flub the first sentence spoken on the moon? The audio transmission of his words s... Read More

Similes Swing Open Doors of Meaning Jun. 26, 2019

The Word Guy

Well-placed similes are like well-oiled hinges, allowing readers to open doors of meaning with ease ... Read More

This Word Sails to Many 'Ports' of Call Jun. 19, 2019

The Word Guy

Like a wandering sailor, the Latin root "porto" has a girl in every ... well, port. "Porto" means "c... Read More

Are You Booked for the Summer? Jun. 12, 2019

The Word Guy

If you're bound for the beach, boardwalk or boat this summer — or just the back porch — ... Read More

Dogged Readers Snarl at Pet Peeves Jun. 05, 2019

The Word Guy

Every so often, I like to unleash my readers' pet peeves, aka 'pete noires, 'cur'sed terms and 'dog'... Read More

Unzipping the Origin of 'Fly' May. 29, 2019

The Word Guy

Why is the opening on men's trousers called a "fly"? Before your speculation starts to soar too high... Read More

Who Was That Masked Mantis? May. 22, 2019

The Word Guy

Picture a mosquito with a musket, a mantis with a crystal ball, and a larva wearing a mask. Entomolo... Read More

Can You Catch 40 Winks? May. 15, 2019

The Word Guy

Can you find and replace each of the 40 usage errors in this account of my spring-cleaning? (The num... Read More

FDR's Prose Crackled with Clarity May. 08, 2019

The Word Guy

Jill Lepore's new book "These Truths," a delightfully quirky and informative romp through U.S. histo... Read More

Reader Bludgeons 'High Dungeon' May. 01, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: I was watching a news program, and one of the guests said someone "was in high dungeon" instead o... Read More

Blooper Patrol Laps Up Lapses Apr. 24, 2019

The Word Guy

The ever-vigilant Word Guy Blooper Patrol has been working overtime to apprehend examples of erroneo... Read More

Origins Breathe Life Into Words Apr. 17, 2019

The Word Guy

Studying the origins of words can seem like an esoteric enterprise, relegated to nerdy scholars poki... Read More

Being Letter-Perfect Casts Its Spell Apr. 10, 2019

The Word Guy

Duz speling evan mattar enymore? After all, you knew what I meant, right? Companies deliberately mis... Read More

Baseball Banter Is Easy-Going ... Going, Gone! Apr. 03, 2019

The Word Guy

Batter up and banter up! The new baseball season is in full swing, and the playful palaver of the pl... Read More

'Glide Path' Lands Smoothly on Political Runway Mar. 27, 2019

The Word Guy

On "PBS NewsHour" last month, South Bend, Indiana, mayor and likely presidential candidate Pete Butt... Read More

'Predominately' Makes Purists 'Ant'sy Mar. 20, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: Why do some people use the adverb "predominately" instead of "predominantly"? Is this an accepted... Read More

Origin of 'Gory' Misses Bull's-Eye Mar. 13, 2019

The Word Guy

"The running of the bulls got off to a gory start." That was the first sentence in a CBS News report... Read More

Those Roman Plurals Are Roamin' Mar. 06, 2019

The Word Guy

Q. I've noticed that some publications are using "millenniums" in place of "millennia," e.g., "The m... Read More

Today's Politics? Don't Get Me Started! Feb. 20, 2019

The Word Guy

During the recent partial government shutdown, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi repeatedly called Presiden... Read More