Welcome to another newsletter from A Way with Words.
Over the weekend we talked more about political language, "hair of the dog," "a fish rots from the head down," and "pareidolia." Listen here:
We also posted another language headlines minicast to the web site:
In less than two weeks, the "Mohonk Mountain House Wonderful World of Words" gathering will take place. During the weekend of November 14-16 you can join host Will Shortz (puzzler nickname WILLz) and "A Way with Words" puzzler Greg Pliska in a weekend of puzzling and puzzle-solving. You can find more information here:
Our colleague Ben Zimmer of Visual Thesaurus writes to tell us that VT is now hosting an online spelling bee. It's *all* online. You listen to a word and then spell it. Find out how you rank with spellers worldwide! It's incredibly engrossing.
Stories about town councils in the UK recommending that their official documents not use Latin phrases have been making the rounds. Most of the stories are ridiculuous "They're banning Latin!" overreactions. A more accurate point of view is that they're simply using this as one way, of many, to write in something more like standard English. Still, you'd think that "bona fide" would be pretty well known by just about anyone.
The New York Times offers us three language-related stories:
1. There is now software and hardware that its inventors claim will track how you behave in a conversation. Do you take more speaking turns than you should?
2. William Safire runs through some of the political language of 2008:
3. Adam Liptak considers the Supreme Court's consideration of the use of the F-word on broadcast television.
That's all for this week!
Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett