Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker

Month: January 2009

  • Drinking your words

    My latest column in the Malaysia Star. … A recent New York Times article about Pu’er teas reminded me that I’ve been meaning to talk a bit about the names of food. The article explained that the tea was thought to reduce cholesterol and cure hangovers, so the Pu’er name had become immensely powerful in…

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  • The names of wines and cheeses

    I will be leading a class about the names of wines and cheeses this Friday, January 23, at Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker Street in New York City. There’s a fee, but it includes lots and lots of cheese and wine samples. Skip dinner!

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  • Bailout, the Word of 2008

    This is my latest column in the Malaysia Star. … This year, the American Dialect Society selected “bailout” as its word of 2008. That means it was the one which the society’s members felt was the most relevant to the events of the year. Earlier in the year, the editors and lexicographers at Merriam-Webster, one…

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  • American Dialect Society 2008 Word of the Year is “Bailout”

    In its 19th annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted “bailout” as the word of the year. In the specific sense used most frequently in 2008, bailout refers to the rescue by the government of companies on the brink of failure, including large players in the banking industry. Presiding at the…

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