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Etymology of Campaign

Today’s pet peeve is often tomorrow’s standard usage. Nineteenth-century grammarians railed against the use of the word campaign to denote an electoral contest, arguing it was an inappropriate use of a military term. C.W. Bardeen’s...

Is “Ain’t” Old-Fashioned?

Has ain’t gone out of fashion? Teachers have succeeded in stigmatizing the word, and it’s also not such a common pet peeve any more. But perhaps the biggest reason you don’t hear it as much is because it’s no longer used in...

Going Forward

Why do people use the phrase going forward when talking about the future? Although it sometimes carries legitimate meaning, the expression is often just a pleonastic bit of business jargon that ends up on plenty of lists of people’s pet peeves...

Playing Catch-up

Hi, all — We’re back after a brief summer hiatus. So much to catch up on! In last weekend’s archive edition, we discussed “interrobangs,” “pronequarks,” “catios,” “horse dumplings,”...

Newsletter In Brief

Hey, ho, here's a brief newsletter from "A Way with Words." In this past weekend's episode we talked about new words, Dick's hatband, bye week, simping, the parson's nose, and more: Also this past week, Martha took a look...