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Forgetting Your Own Idiolect

Aiya from Toronto, Canada, finds that whenever he moves to a new location, he adopts some of the local dialect, which feels a bit uncomfortable. At one point, for example, he found himself unable to recall if he used on accident or by accident to...

“On Accident” or “By Accident”

A high-school English teacher asks which is correct: It happened on accident, or It happened by accident? A survey by linguist Leslie Barratt at Indiana State University indicates that most people born after 1990 use on accident, and weren’t...

Awkward Turtle

Do you say something happened on accident or by accident? Is text-messaging destroying our kids’ writing ability? Where do horseradish, zarf, and ignoramus come from?

sliming

sliming  n.— «Under Field’s supervision, FGS agents allegedly used a deceptive practice known as “sliming” to sell Coastal auto policies. They would alter the accident records of questionable drivers and falsify information...

Twinjury

Twinjury  n.— «On May 29th, James Coleman of Bristol smacked his skull on a tree branch while filing updates to the Twitter service (or tweeting) from his Blackberry during a run. His accident spawned a new word: a “Twinjury...