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Preview: The Word Guy - ArcaMax Publishing

The Word Guy - ArcaMax Publishing



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Reporters Engage in 'Tranche' Warfare

Sep/20/2017

Reporters covering hurricane disaster relief during recent weeks have been donning their "tranche" coats. Many news outlets described the initial package of federal money for Harvey's victims as "the first tranche" of aid, adding that assistance...





Language Goes to the Dogs

Sep/13/2017

When White House adviser Stephen Miller accused a CNN reporter of having a "cosmopolitan bias" last month, some pundits claimed he was using the term as a "dog whistle" -- a coded message that flies over the heads of most people but conveys a ...





Briticisms Are Jumping the Pond

Sep/06/2017

What is it about those Brits? We Americans made our Brexit from their empire in 1776. But we can't stop importing their lingo. As King George III sings knowingly to us newly independent Yanks in the musical "Hamilton," "You'll be back." And ...





It's Time To Leave 'Never-Never'land

Aug/30/2017

Never begin a sentence with "And" or "But." Never split an infinitive. Never end a sentence with a preposition. Ah, the wonders of "Never-never" land! When we were young and impressionable Peter Pans, we learned these strict rules from well-...





German Syntax Becomes 'All'-American

Aug/23/2017

If you were to stop at a roadside stand in south-central Pennsylvania on a summer afternoon to buy some corn, the vendor might tell you, "I'm sorry. The corn is all." Have you stumbled upon a strange cult devoted to the worship of corn? Do ...





Should We Reverse Reverse Engineering?

Aug/16/2017

Reverse engineering. No, I don't mean backing up a locomotive or designing cars that parallel park all by themselves. This scientific term refers instead to examining a device or product to discover how it was put together in order to design ...





These Origins Will Wig You Out

Aug/09/2017

Is the term "wig out," related to wigs? Are Formica counters named for formic acid? Why is a big truck called a "semi"? Let's find out! --Wig out: You might think that this term, meaning "to lose one's cool," is derived from the days when ...





Keeping the Frogs in the Wheelbarrow

Aug/02/2017

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski served up a delightfully amphibious metaphor recently to describe Sen. Mitch McConnell's efforts to line up Republican senators behind his health-care bill. "The majority leader is trying to keep all the frogs in the ...





Will Texting Ruin Our Writing? OMG!

Jul/26/2017

Texting -- a tumultuous treehouse full of bizarre spellings, incomplete sentences and weird abbreviations -- is being widely blamed for the decline of students' composition skills. A pugnacious posse of teachers, parents and pedants, armed with...





When Should 'Predominate' Dominate?

Jul/19/2017

Q: Nowadays, I see more and more journalists use the verb "predominate" as an adjective, instead of "predominant." Are these journalists wrong? -- Curt Guenther, Memphis A: A journalist wrong? My stars! Quick confession. I made the error you ...