For witches.1 For vampires once they're staked or burned.2 For the Halloween spoilers.3 For puppeteers like Paxton.4
For the systems integrators.5
For a number of Federal court judges, As I am sure there will be for Members of Congress.6 For non-disabled drivers who sport a handicapped placard on the dash And park free all day at a downtown metered spot.7
I have always thought of the word 'literally' as someone else's problem. Then, suddenly, it arrived: My summer of Literally. A recent family vacation revealed my brother as one of the worst offenders. He likes to couple ‘literally’ with the phrase… 'on the planet,' as in, “You are literally the best sister on the planet.” (Or rather, you were.) Other literally fans (is it the heat?): my lesbian best friend, my rich best friend, my yoga best friend—she’s the one it seems rudest to complain about since last weekend we went to Wanderlust together, and I spent half the time in a sobbing rage and the other half crawling around [...]
"If you didn’t already know that euphonious dichotomies are usually phony dichotomies, you need only check out the latest round in the supposed clash between 'prescriptivist' and 'descriptivist' theories of language. This pseudo-controversy, a staple of literary magazines for decades, was ginned up again this month by The New Yorker, which has something of a history with the bogus battle."
In an interview with Martha Stewart shortly before her 2003 indictment, Jeffrey Toobin asked the visibly exhausted celebrity if she felt herself the victim of “schadenfreude.” He didn't expand upon the Germanism, and Stewart certainly didn't need it defined.
Schadenfreude? I asked. “That's the word,” she said. “I hear that, like, every day.” And she added, in her precise way, “Do you know how to spell it?”
While spelling the thing might be an issue, writers assume nowadays that when they say “schadenfreude,” readers know exactly what they mean. It’s defined as the “malicious enjoyment of the misfortunes of others” in the OED, which first included the word [...]
For a while now, something has been bothering me. It's not particularly menacing or sinister, just annoying and unavoidable. It's a word, and I see it in the comments section of YouTube videos and hear it from the mouths of guffawing teenage girls next to me on the subway. Sometimes it even makes an unwelcome appearance on my cell phone in the form of a text message. The word I'm talking about is random—and I'm not the only one who feels this way.
Facebook Groups have risen in opposition to this ubiquitous six-letter expression. There is "Irritated by the incorrect use of the word 'random,'" "I HATE the word [...]
Sad news: the International Federation of Association Football (known as FIFA, because of some French thing), the governing body of international soccer (a game played with a ball and two nets in which the use of hands is restricted) has denied reports that it issued a list of 20 English profanities to World Cup referees in advance of the big tournament that is start sometime soon, apparently. I say the news is sad because I would love to see an official list of English profanities: "Motherfucker" and "cocksucker" now seem rather wan to me, due to overuse. I need a few good new curse words to really spice [...]