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  1. How Inventions Live on As Action Words

    Transferring words from one word class to another – called “conversion” – is just one of 13 ways to create new terms in English, according to The Guardian (“How new words are born”, 4 February 2016). Making nouns into verbs, for example, puts spunk into the language and can even add nuances to the meaning. […]

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  2. Wonderful Words Curiously Created

    The many odd and revealing terms of English vocabulary make the language a word collector’s paradise. Our wonderful words series continues with: eggcorn. In use only since the early 2000s, “eggcorn” stems from how some people say “acorn”. Their pronunciation of the term for the smooth, oval nut of the oak tree is distorted. That mispronunciation […]

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  3. Darling, Step Aside! Time to Eliminate Superfluous Words

    Yes, even long-standing expressions, the darlings of speech, can be substituted for simpler discourse. If two words (“no difference”) can replace 10 (“six of one …”), then why not take the plunge? Here is our latest list of words you can often do without to tighten your writing:   Reduce: At some time in the future Divert away from […]

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  4. New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

     This slightly adapted, popular line from a holiday song is as much about Santa’s preparation as it is a resolution to edit your own writing. Long-standing New Year’s resolutions have ample wisdom that can help inspire your writing in 2018. We look at a few. Why go further than adapting the classics? 1. Detox your […]

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  5. Wonderful Words Uncovered

    Our wonderful words series highlights odd and marvelous terms that may not be well known or are little used. Whilom Is a whilom friend like a bosom buddy? Nope. It’s the opposite. A bosom buddy is a very close friend, while a whilom friend is a friend you once had but have no longer. The […]

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  6. Black Friday – or the Lingua Franca Retail Tour

    The international creep of English is no better exemplified than by “Black Friday”, the day immediately following Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Although shopping used to be far from the minds of those giving thanks for what they had, Black Friday has become a retail bonanza […]

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