Linguistics

Which Word Wednesday: Itch vs. Scratch

By | language | 2 Comments

Language lovers can lead a lonely life. Seriously, there are few people interested in discussing etymology or proofreading menus with me. I really don’t know why! So how very excited I was when, while enjoying pizza with friends, dear Lisa said she had two submissions for us here at Which…

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Which Word Wednesday: Prim vs. Prissy

By | language | No Comments

Selections for Which Word Wednesday typically are chosen from a language debacle or mystery that I simply must put to rest. I must be in a language slump, because this week, I couldn’t think of even one example to draw upon. Good thing we have The Artful Nuance: A Refined…

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Which Word Wednesday: Argot, Jargon, and Lingo

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Language ties people together. Families, friends, coworkers, and social groups use the same language to strengthen bonds between members. But the language that binds can also divide, keeping newcomers from feeling welcome and wanted. For example, how well would an outsider be able to follow a conversation consisting of vague…

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Which Word Wednesday: e.g. vs. i.e.

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Each Wednesday we gather around for nail-biting, heart-racing word battles. We look at definitions and context and examples. We toss around our opinions. We vote . . . well, some of us do. The word battles here at WWW can be intense. It’s sort of like Celebrity Deathmatch—without the gore….

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Which Word Wednesday: Reluctant vs. Reticent

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To err is human. Just don’t err around some linguists. They get rather crabby when people use irregardless or heighth or unloosen. The fear of using the wrong word in the presence a crabby linguist can make people rather tongue-tied. I know this, because recently several dear friends have commented…

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Which Word Wednesday: Bring vs. Take

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In real estate, the rule is location, location, location. That rule is also helpful for the word quandary in this week’s Which Word Wednesday discussion between the word bring and take. Location is key, because it helps you decide which word fits for the meaning you intend to convey. Here’s…

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Which Word Wednesday: Abstruse vs. Obtuse

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Moviegoers might rate a film by the story’s accuracy or entertainment value or unusual plot line. The most important factors for me when it comes to movies are character development and dialogue. Give me witty banter—such as in The Spanish Prisoner and Fantastic Mr. Fox—and deep characters—such as Pride and…

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Which Word Wednesday: Podium vs. Lectern

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If you’ve ever given a speech—for work, class, church, etc.—then you’ve likely encountered the words selected for today’s Which Word Wednesday post. So here’s my question for you: When giving a speech, do you stand behind the podium or the lectern? These words are often used interchangeably, but careful speakers…

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