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The Top 3 (July 14)

Every week I see lots of interesting stories about language, grammar, punctuation, and usage. These were my favorites last week.

By
Mignon Fogarty,
July 14, 2013

favorite

3. Crunching Literary Numbers, New York Times Sunday Review

Marc Egnal scoured American literature with Google Ngram and made some surprising discoveries. Did you know "American dream" only originated around 1930? Did you know the words "infant," "toddler," and "childhood" increased around the 1960s? Interesting stuff! (Hat tip to Grant Faulkner.)

2. The War of the WordsThe Economist

Lane Green starts his insightful analysis of how Republicans and Democrats use language with this quotation from Orwell: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” (It annoys me that The Economist doesn't put bylines on articles. I only know Lane Green wrote this because he tweeted the link.)

AND THE WINNER IS...

grammar abuse

1. The Stop Grammar Abuse video by Matt Longmire 

My favorite snarky line from this video, which has a hilarious public-service-announcement vibe, is "Why would we use spellcheck when autocorrect never makes mistakes?"

Which article or video did you like best?

Star image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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