What makes a word beautiful? Is it merely how it sounds? Or does a word’s meaning affect its aesthetic effect? Max Beerbohm had some helpful thoughts about gondola, scrofula, and other words in his essay “The Naming of Streets.” Several years ago, Grant wrote a column on this topic for The New York Times. This is part of a complete episode.
- Coast is Clear 04/24/2017: In the military, if you've lost the bubble, then you can't find your bearings. The term first referred to calibrating the position of aircraft and... [more]
- Sweet Dreams 04/08/2017: In deafening workplaces, like sawmills and factories, workers develop their own elaborate sign language to discuss everything from how their weekend went to when the... [more]
- Gone to Seed 04/03/2017: This week on A Way with Words: Restaurant jargon, military slang, and modern Greek turns of phrase. • Some restaurants now advertise that they sell... [more]
- It Doesn't Exist, a Greek Phrase 04/03/2017: In modern Greek, if you want to say something is "fantastic," "out of this world," or otherwise "terrific," you can say den iparchei!, which literally... [more]
- Two-Word Rhyme Quiz 04/03/2017: Quiz Guy John Chaneski's challenge requires removing an initial letter from one word to form a two-word rhyme. For example, what two rhyming words are... [more]