Learn new words, avoid overused and incorrect phrases, and find some unusual (maybe even outlandish) alternatives.
In this five-minute podcast episode, Steve Kleinedler explains the process of how the American Heritage Dictionary editing staff determines which words should be added in a given year and also how they assess potential weak areas in their dictionary. Fun note: "humblebrag" made it into at least one dictionary this year.
This list of holiday clichés was shared with great enthusiasm during a recent Twitter chat with members of the American Copy Editors Society. Tradition has its place, especially during the holiday season, but no one is charmed by emails that claim "'tis the season" to buy a new toaster.
I hereby confess that I spent many years thinking "bemused" was a synonym of "amused," and I had a bit of a melodramatic meltdown when I learned the error of my ways. (How many books did I misread? Oh, the horrors!) This article explains that exact mix-up along with several other understandably confusing English words and phrases.
This cute thesaurus was inspired by Twitter many years ago and functions just like a traditional thesaurus—except it only returns shorter synonyms. If you've ever run out of characters in a tweet and wished you had something to help you condense your content, this is the tool for you.
The Merriam-Webster website is now responsive! This new design—which should look great on any device and any size screen—has been in beta testing for a while, and it finally went public this week. The focus is on the content, which loads quickly (without a barrage of advertisements). All in all, it's a beautiful redesign, and it makes me excited to use an online dictionary and thesaurus for the first time in years.