"In the last three months, CEOs of S&P 500 companies have put the 'innovation' word on Peony & Blush Suede perfume, premium potash and higher-alcohol Miller beer. "Innovation" also describes Dun & Bradstreet credit reports and PetSmart's temporary tattoos for pets. Back in 2007, 99 companies in the S&P 500 mentioned innovation in their third-quarter conference calls, according to reviews of transcripts from Capital IQ. This year the number was 197."
Look, when couples in Cobble Hill start calling their children "Amongst" then we can complain. Until then, chill out, it is just a word.
"Call it linguistic precision engineering. The German language permits the creation of words of endless length, many of which refer to laws. Now the country has lost its longest official word following the repeal of a complex law regarding mad cow disease — and is seeking a new one." —What are the Germans going to do now that 'Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz' is no longer an acceptable word? And what did 'Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz' even mean? As the article goes on to explain, 'Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz' can be loosely translated as 'the strange condition in which, due to skin tone or softness of features, a person somehow appears to have been Photoshopped into a picture no [...]
"People who do not belong to certain groups are asked to defer in their use of certain words to those who do (the practice is known in some quarters as ‘privilege-checking’). Words and phrases are ring-fenced in order to strip them of their ‘stereotypical’ and ‘clichéd’ implications. Recently the use of such terms as ‘mental’ or ‘Brazilian transsexuals’ was said to feed into a stereotype. Of course it does: language is a work in progress and an accumulation of conscious and unconscious usage. It’s not surprising that metaphors and analogies tend towards stereotypes; clichés are ways of using language that have proved useful over time. The words we use every [...]
"Dickinson went a little jiggy with it, admittedly, but in poetry and prose alike, the dash is a freewheelin’ punctuation mark." —Eh, just go with it. The dash: Is it for you?
"[T]he term 'techie,' often used as shorthand for these boomtown tech industry immigrants, is starting to carry negative connotations. For many tech industry workers, who account for about 8 percent of San Francisco's workers, 'techie' is starting to sound pejorative."
I have been kind of distracted for most of 2013, so let me ask you a question: Did "prankvertisement" become a word people use at some point during the year and I just didn't notice? It is okay to answer yes, you will just make me feel that much more at peace with my impending demise, which apparently cannot come quickly enough.
Are we in danger of overusing the word "trolling" to the point where it loses all meaning? Oh no, how will we ever express the sentiment of "I am irritated enough about this to point it out but not willing to engage any further with it" if that happens?
"Polish language experts launched a campaign Thursday to preserve the challenging system of its diacritical marks, saying the tails, dots and strokes are becoming obsolete under the pressure of IT and speed."
Here are some of the terrible words in the English language from the past year. This list is British, but much of it is universal. At least for those who speak English. And really, who doesn't? Not anyone I'd want to know.
"The next time an American 'mate' asks you to 'ring' her on her 'mobile' about renting your 'flat' during your 'holiday,' it’s fair to ask, have we all become Madonna?" —If this ever happens, you have our permission to stab your imaginary friend right in the neck, Briton-style.
Is this English's most adorable suffix? Sure, why the hell not.
Where do you stand on split infinitives? Do you feel that a rule is a rule, and no matter how awkward or unpleasant a construction appears, the infinitive must remain unsplit? Or are you of the opinion that it doesn't make much of a difference anyway since of all the things to worry about in the grim slog through boredom and despair that is the pitiful excuse for human existence the question of where a modifier gets placed is perhaps the least important? Tell us in the comments!
"Fresh doesn't have to be low-calorie or even especially nutritious—a burrito with ingredients prepared on-site at Chipotle may pack three times the calories of a burger. Nor does fresh require pathologically locavorian supply-chain standards: As Arby's has revealed, a sandwich from Subway might contain cold-cuts processed, packaged, and shipped from a centralized facility in Iowa. Better yet for retailers like Taco Bell, Domino's, and Arby's, the mere implications of freshness can be sold at a premium to new customers who otherwise might have avoided those chains' wares altogether. The only unabashedly pure thing about the concept of fresh is its subjectivity."
"As people increasingly communicate in short bursts of words, via text messaging and emails, they are finding less use for 'P.S.' The Latin abbreviation refers to something 'written after' the body of a letter. But it is also a cherished part of epistolary tradition that entered the spoken language, inspiring songs and movies."
"No, correlation does not imply causation, but it sure as hell provides a hint. Does email make a man depressed? Does sadness make a man send email? Or is something else again to blame for both? A correlation can't tell one from the other; in that sense it's inadequate. Still, if it can frame the question, then our observation sets us down the path toward thinking through the workings of reality, so we might learn new ways to tweak them. It helps us go from seeing things to changing them."