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Word History

Words of the Year: 1066

Why is pig meat called 'pork' and cow meat called 'beef?' Because English took on a big serving of French words following the Norman Conquest.

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play video title words of the year 1066
Words of the Year: 1066


English was never the same after the Norman Conquest

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Is It 'Attorney Generals' Or 'Attorneys General'?


'Poets laureate'? 'Court-martials'? The curious history of postpositive adjectives in English.

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Some Odd Words with ISMO: "The One-derful Won"


Comedian ISMO tries to figure out 'one' and 'two'

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Affect vs. Effect


Here's the lowdown on what may be the most confusing pair of words in the English language.

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The Serial Comma Explained


Why don't they call it the Merriam-Webster comma?

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Video: Why Is There a 'C' in 'Indict'?


And who put it there, anyway?

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Further vs. Farther


They started as same word, but their meanings have drifted apart over time.