Throughout the year, Merriam-Webster’s editors watch for lookup spikes and their causes — events or statements in the news and popular culture that prompt a number of people to look up a particular word. As an election year, 2012 had its fair share of spikes caused by politics and the debates, but one of the delights of the Year in Words review is seeing the diversity of causes.
More evidence that you can let go of the that/which distinction. Also in today’s News Roundup: your freelancing resolutions, the trouble with headline-ese, you’re your Friday bonus, courtesy of Merriam-Webster.
Still not convinced that you can let go of the that/which distinction? Copyediting columnist Jonathon Owen gives you a deeper explanation in “Relative Pronoun Redux.” (Arrant Pedantry)
At the end of 2010, Newsweek merged with the relatively new but thriving The Daily Beast, an online news site that purports to help readers overcome the information overload of our day by focusing on top news and commentary (tagline: Read This Skip That).
The year 2012 brought an interesting array of new words to add to the vocabulary. Writer Ben Zimmer, created a year in review of all these new words on the website Visual Thesaurus and the Boston Globe. All of the words in this list are candidates of the American Dialect Society. This Society studies the English language in North America and anyone can join this society. Nominations for words of the year can be submitted all year. The word that is chosen is the word that best characterizes the year 2012.
“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” —C.S. Lewis
That day may have come. In a sweet, 22-slide telling of the Little Red-Cap story [see the full text as a Project Gutenberg e-book], the Google homepage is the most recent celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
Newspapers are reaping the rewards of laying off seasoned copyeditors. Also in today’s News Roundup: The Guardian misses the point; how new words survive; correctly using e.g. and i.e.; and definitions from the real world.
Like most copyeditors, I love to read and I enjoy a variety of forms and genres. In my heart, however, I’m a book reader. Yet I am always months (and usually years) behind on reading the latest and greatest books of the day. Part of that delay is intentional. I prefer to wait, for example, until all of the books of a series have been published before I begin the series. But serial-reading preferences aside, my to-read list rarely resembles the New York Times Best Sellers list or contains books from the most recent reviews.