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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: The Critical Dictionary and the Wiki World
Author: Michael Adams
Institution: Indiana University
Linguistic Field: Ling & Literature; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: A new utopian lexicography – online? Today, dictionary users are Web users: they imagine that a static paper text is necessarily less richly informative than a hyperlinked megatext. They expect to move among texts as interest and curiosity direct, not to be constrained by linear, editorially directed matter of the old-fashioned kind. The nodes of an infinite hyperlinked search may map a universe of small, classically organized texts, but those who travel the Web for information and ideas expect to click around on impulse. Further, they often expect to participate in the public construction of knowledge, contributing and editing Web content whenever they feel competent to do so. They are hyper-Romantics who have conflated their imaginations and the scapes of human knowledge into a hypertextual hyperuniverse. Future dictionaries of English should acknowledge these new user inclinations to the extent compatible with the highest lexicographical standards. These ideas are discussed further.


This article appears IN English Today Vol. 23, Issue 2.

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