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Preview: Fritinancy


Names, brands, writing, and the language of commerce.

Updated: 2017-01-23T06:16:57-08:00


Word of the week: Antifa


On January 20, Inauguration Day, white nationalist Richard Spencer was knocked to the ground in Washington, D.C., by a masked protester. He filed a police report the following day, and posted multiple tweets about the incident, including this one: If law enforcement can't protect us from antifa assaults we will...

January linkfest


What was Kellogg’s Product 19, and how did it get that slightly sinister name? (Slate) * The copy for this 1919 ad for Prince Albert tobacco – “the national joy smoke” – is sure to put pep in your smokemotor, all right! And the illustration’s a pip, too. (Language Log)...

Word of the week: Dossier


Last week Buzzfeed published a collection of memos, prepared in 2015 by a former British intelligence agent, that make “explosive — but unverified — allegations that the Russian government has been ‘cultivating, supporting and assisting’ President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him.” The “compromising information” included...

Name in the news: Altaba


It’s the end of an era for Yahoo – again. If the deal goes through, Yahoo, the pioneer internet portal founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in 1994, will be selling its core internet assets to Verizon for $4.8 billion. On Monday it was announced that what’s left –...

Word of the week: Dumpster fire


At its annual meeting, held this year in Austin, the American Dialect Society selected a two-word lexical item as its word of the year for 2016: dumpster fire. And it set a precedent by including an emoji representation of the term in its announcement of the vote. Yes, that’s a...