Words from the week of 2/21/2020
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Maybe obscure words will warm you up.
How many of these commonly confused words do you know?
How we chose 'they'
Some imitative words are more surprising than others
And is one way more correct than the others?
The story of an imaginary word that managed to sneak past our editors and enter the dictionary.
Why don't they call it the Merriam-Webster comma?
Is 'alright' all right?
adj. - of or relating to coins or currency
How to remember which is which
noun - an opinion based on careful thought
Is there one standard way?
verb - to uproot or do away with completely
And is one more correct than the others?
There, there. We'll sort it out.
The awkward case of 'his or her'
No other common verb follows the pattern of _sneak_…_snuck_. And no one's quite sure why.
They started as the same word, but their meanings have drifted apart over time.
Tripping up English Speakers for 700 years
'Poets laureate'? 'Court-martials'? The curious history of postpositive adjectives in English.
Why does it sound strange to say 'funner' or 'funnest?'
Some practical guidance, and interesting history, about a common mistake.
Why is pig meat is called 'pork' and cow meat is called 'beef?' Because English took on a big serving of French words following the Norman Conquest.
"Verily, I say unto you, the public is a hot mess"
How an ancient philosophical movement devoted to the pursuit of virtue came to describe eye-rolling criticism.
The story of those iconic illustrations.
Noah Webster: the man who changed the way we spell... up to a point.
No one calls it the Merriam-Webster comma. Why?
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Editor Peter Sokolowski talks about 'feminism' and the rest of our Word of the Year 2017 selections
Many of today's grammar rules can be traced to the opinions of one 18th century writer.
Learn the meaning and history of 'numismatic' in our video series with TIME
Learn the meaning and history of 'judgment' in our video series with TIME
Learn the meaning and history of 'eradicate' in our video series with TIME
Learn the meaning and history of 'bootless' in our video series with TIME
Learn the meaning and history of 'probity' in our video series with TIME
Learn the meaning and history of 'Cupid' in our video series with TIME
Senate finds Trump not guilty
Manchin calls for reprimand
Schumer calls trial a sham
More Confusing Words—Quiz
Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.
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From the blood sport of politics.
It's all fun and games until someone beats your high score.
Build a city of skyscrapers—one synonym at a time.