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Hacking Around With Backronyms Feb. 12, 2020

The Word Guy

During my first year of teaching, I supervised about 50 boys in a recreational jogging program. It w... Read More

Repartee in the Rathskeller? You Don't Say! Dec. 25, 2019

The Word Guy

Here's your chance to test your mastery of frequently mispronounced words. I'll even throw in some l... Read More

Walking in a Winter 'Worder'-land Nov. 20, 2019

The Word Guy

Put some words in your wassail and some punctuation in your punch this holiday season with one of th... Read More

'American Exceptionalism' -- What, Who, Why and Really? Nov. 13, 2019

The Word Guy

Pundits, professors and presidents have been batting around the term "American exceptionalism" like ... Read More

Shoo, 'Of,' Don't Bother Me! Nov. 06, 2019

The Word Guy

The seemingly harmless preposition "of" is the fly in the ointment of good writing. This pesky pest ... Read More

Whistle(blow) While You Work Oct. 30, 2019

The Word Guy

Pity the poor word "whistleblower." Like the intrepid human it denotes, this term has endured a long... Read More

Can You Make Sound Choices Between Sound-Alike Words? Oct. 23, 2019

The Word Guy

Some usage distinctions are so tricky that even very intelligent people find them challenging. OK, s... Read More

Affection for 'Inflection'? We Get the Point Oct. 16, 2019

The Word Guy

When it comes to the use — and overuse — of "inflection point," we're clearly at an infl... Read More

Lock, Stock and Peril Oct. 02, 2019

The Word Guy

— Answering a Loaded Question: President Donald Trump's recent description of the U.S. militar... Read More

Reading Between the Lines Sep. 25, 2019

The Word Guy

Bing Crosby once crooned in a classic song, "You've got to accentuate the positive/ Eliminate the ne... Read More

Should We Put 'Ahold' on Hold? Sep. 18, 2019

The Word Guy

In reviewing a documentary about TV journalist Mike Wallace, critic Kenneth Turan noted that the fil... Read More

Grinding Out the Origin of 'Emolument' Sep. 11, 2019

The Word Guy

President Donald Trump's recent suggestion that the G-7 hold its next meeting at his Doral golf reso... Read More

Reader Offers a Clever 'Why's Crack?' Sep. 04, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: Why is the adjective "crack" used to describe someone who's good at something, as in a "crack sho... Read More

Newspaper Nomenclature Has Nautical Nature Aug. 28, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: I've noticed that the word "masthead" is often used to refer to the name on the front page of a p... Read More

Using 'Times Less' Subtracts From Clarity Aug. 21, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: I see the following two phrases all too often: 1) "Three (or two or four) times less." I would th... Read More

'Trooper' Trope Troubles Troupers Aug. 14, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: The lead character in the comic strip "Rex Morgan, M.D." recently referred to someone as a "real ... Read More

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Album Aug. 07, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: Musicians used to "release" a new album, but now a new album is "dropped." What the heck is that?... Read More

When Modifiers Unbuckle, They Give Us a Chuckle Jul. 31, 2019

The Word Guy

"Watch the birds as they hunt for fish using your own binoculars." Will the birds swoop down and gra... Read More

New Verb Provides an 'Other' Perspective Jul. 24, 2019

The Word Guy

In a recent op-ed piece urging us to welcome and celebrate differences among people, Trinity College... Read More

Full Speed 'Ahead'! Jul. 17, 2019

The Word Guy

Some random dispatches from the Word Front ... — Off With Their "Aheads": When did "ahead of"... Read More