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An Encyclopædia Britannica Company
Which of these things doesn't belong?
"a public scandal"
Some borrowed words don't get returned
Or, Why Pig Meat is Called 'Pork' and Cow Meat is Called 'Beef'
Where did we get 'freshman' and 'sophomore'?
Why don't they call it the Merriam-Webster comma?
How we chose 'surreal'
Is 'alright' all right?
Or both? Or neither?
It is in fact a real word (but that doesn't mean you should use it).
Don't get us started on 'bimonthly'
Because we care
If I were you, I'd watch this
There, there. We'll sort it out.
The awkward case of 'his or her'
How the irregular _snuck_ sneaked into the dictionary
They started as same word, but their meanings have drifted apart over time.
Both words imply motion, but the difference may be all in your head
Editor Emily Brewster clarifies the difference.
'Poets laureate'? 'Court-martials'? The curious history of postpositive adjectives in English.
Why does it sound strange to say 'funner' or 'funnest?'
Bizarre origins of the world's most recognized word.
Noah Webster: the man who changed the way we spell... up to a point.
From torture to tailgating—the origins of an American football term.
The surprising history behind this controversial abbreviation.
What's the correct plural of 'octopus': 'octopuses' or 'octopi'? Yes – and then some.
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
When to use each (and when not to get annoyed about their use).
Many of today's grammar rules can be traced to the opinions of one 18th century writer.
One goose, two geese. One moose, two... moose. What's up with that?
"a public scandal"
of a deceitful nature or quality
We provide an assortment of definitions
'A nightmarish quality'
The Exceptions Quiz III
Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.
In the past, you could invent fruit.
Shortening 'usual': easy to say, hard to spell
From the front hallways to the back rooms
Name that government! Or something like that.
The dictionary has been scrambled—can you put it back together?