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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

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

The Revel Is in the Details Jan. 30, 2019

The Word Guy

A vivid passage from Michelle Obama's memoir, "Becoming," refreshed my appreciation for the intense ... Read More

This 'Calling Card' Hasn't Expired Jan. 09, 2019

The Word Guy

When a TV weather forecaster described a November blast of cold air as "winter's calling card," I wo... Read More

Words That Go Bump in the Night Dec. 26, 2018

The Word Guy

As a young graduate student, I once took a flight to Minneapolis that left LaGuardia Airport in New ... Read More

What Are the Rules for 'Fewer' and 'Less'? Dec. 19, 2018

The Word Guy

My seventh-grade English teacher, Mrs. Morris, was a formidable and forthright woman. And when it ca... Read More

Political Potshots Have Always Packed Punch Dec. 05, 2018

The Word Guy

If you think today's political insults are nasty, consider these mud bombs hurled at Presidents Ulys... Read More

Linguistic Disputes Can Pack a Punch Nov. 14, 2018

The Word Guy

Heated controversies over proper usage can lead to food fights at faculty clubs and fisticuffs on co... Read More

We've Got Spirits Aug. 30, 2018

Lenore Skenazy

Clay Routledge, author of the new book "Supernatural: Death, Meaning, and the Power of the Invisible... Read More

Haunting Accident Feb. 27, 2018

The Science Advice Goddess

What do dreams mean? I was dumped 10 months ago. I couldn't stop thinking about him. Now I barely d... Read More

What Is a Good American? Jan. 19, 2018

Linda Chavez

The president of the United States apparently believes that some people are less worthy of becoming ... Read More

The Barn

Jul. 15, 2014

Countdown to Controversy Mar. 26, 2014

The Word Guy

If David Letterman can devise top 10 lists, we letter men and women can do it, too. Here are today's... Read More