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Words Where You Are

Is there a word or phrase that’s particular to your hometown? The editors of the Oxford English Dictionary would like to hear about it. In Cincinnati, for example, three-way refers to a kind of style of serving chili. You can contribute your...

Thesaurus Plagiarizing

Whatever Roget’s Thesaurus may have you believe, sinister buttocks is not a synonym for “left behind.” But a growing number of students are blindly using the thesaurus, or Rogeting, trying mask plagiarism. And it’s not...

Hell’s Bells

The language of restaurant menus. Need a dictionary to get through a dinner menu? Research shows the longer the description of a particular dish, the more expensive it will be. Plus: What’s the best way to use a thesaurus? DON’T —...

$10,000 and 1400 Pounds of Dictionaries

When I read this narrative about the making of the first edition of the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus by former coworker Erin McKean, I was reminded of something that happened. I was one of the book’s editors and worked with its...