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Help Writing Historical Fiction Right

Judy in Fort Worth, Texas, is writing some historical fiction. What are some tips for representing the dialect and vernacular of a particular time and place with accuracy? One great resource is the Dictionary of American Regional English. Another...

Episode 1564

Tribble Trouble

In Cockney rhyming slang, apples and pears is a synonym for “stairs,” and dustbin lids means kids. Plus, sniglets are clever coinages for things we don’t already have words for. Any guesses what incogsneeto means? It’s the...

Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction

The new online Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction is a comprehensive, quotation-based online resource that’s a delight for language lovers of all kinds, and a treasure trove for sci-fi fans. It’s the work of lexicographer Jesse...

Why Do Some People Get Bios in Dictionaries?

A listener in Albany, New York, wonders who decides which historical personages deserve mention a dictionary, and how editors decide which of those people merit a photo or illustration? Grant explains the process by which lexicographers handle these...

“Says” Instead of “Said”

A caller from New York City wonders about his grandmother’s use of the word says rather than said when she’s telling a story about something that happened in the past. It’s a form of the historical present tense that helps describe...