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Michiganders Make a Name for Themselves Dec. 02, 2020

The Word Guy

In case you hadn't noticed, Michigan has been in the news a lot lately, what with a plot to kidnap i... Read More

Discrimination and Prejudice Nov. 25, 2020

Walter E. Williams

Some of the confusion in thinking about matters of race stems from the ambiguity in the terms that w... Read More

New Books About Language Bring Holiday Cheer Nov. 25, 2020

The Word Guy

During this pandemic-punctured holiday season, why not brighten the lives of your friends and family... Read More

Do You Know the 'Bear' Facts of Usage? Nov. 18, 2020

The Word Guy

Who said fairy tales were simple? See whether you can choose the correct words on this quiz about Go... Read More

The Stuttering Foundation Has Wonderful Resources Nov. 07, 2020

'Tween 12 & 20

DR. WALLACE: I have a child who is suffering from stuttering, and my husband and I are doing all we ... Read More

This Quiz Might Require a P'h.'D. Nov. 04, 2020

The Word Guy

It's "H" Hour! Can you choose the correct derivation for each word beginning with "h"? 1) Harbinger:... Read More

Getting the Better of Bete Noires Oct. 28, 2020

The Word Guy

We all encounter recurring questions about grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling that bedevil us e... Read More

It's the Law Oct. 28, 2020

Classic Zig Ziglar

A fascinating law was passed in Louisiana in 1999 requiring students from kindergarten through fifth... Read More

This Boss 'Strived' To Be a Regular Guy Oct. 21, 2020

The Word Guy

Q. "My boss insisted on using the word 'strived' in a letter he wrote to an important client. I rese... Read More

Voulez-Vous Help Your Brain? Oct. 09, 2020

Positive Aging

I live in South Florida, which is frequently referred to as the home of the silver tsunami. This phr... Read More

Studying History on Its Own Terms Oct. 07, 2020

The Word Guy

"The British are coming! The British are coming!" Ah, how Paul Revere's historic call to arms still ... Read More

Language and Thought Sep. 23, 2020

Walter E. Williams

Seventeenth-century poet and intellect John Milton predicted, "When language in common use in any co... Read More

'Cisgender' Has Roots in Latin, Biochemistry Sep. 23, 2020

The Word Guy

Several readers have asked me about the meaning, origin and use of "cisgender," an adjective for a p... Read More

Me and Cardi B Sep. 18, 2020

Marc Dion

I wish to remark, and my language is plain, that I have said far filthier things than Cardi B has ev... Read More

'Ghost Words' Still Haunt Our Language Sep. 09, 2020

The Word Guy

We throw our "suitcases" and other "luggage" into the "trunks" of our cars. But those "suitcases" pr... Read More

'Epic,' 'Heroic,' 'Patriots': Words We Have Abused Into Meaninglessness Sep. 08, 2020

Luis Martínez-Fernández

I advise my students to avoid starting their papers with hackneyed platitudes — "Most historia... Read More

From Prison to Purge: The Linguistic Origins of 'Cancel Culture' Sep. 02, 2020

The Word Guy

The term "cancel culture" has been batted around like a volleyball during the past few weeks. It ref... Read More

And Now a Few Words From Our Sponsor Aug. 26, 2020

The Word Guy

"God sees everything," says George Wilson, the disconsolate husband in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "... Read More

Links to Slavery and Racism Taint Many Terms Aug. 19, 2020

The Word Guy

In the wake of George Floyd's death and the reinvigoration of the Black Lives Matter movement, words... Read More

And Now for Some Literary 'Critter'cism Aug. 12, 2020

The Word Guy

Edith Frankel of Hannawa Falls, New York, sent me this sentence from Science News: "An array of crit... Read More