Ben Zimmer mentioned to me that he was on the Slate podcast Lexicon Valley talking about the origins of the word "gringo": It's most likely derived from Spanish "Griego" 'Greek' to refer to the "gibberish" of foreign speakers. That has led to some discussions of similar words for foreigner-talk in various languages. On Twitter, Mara […]
Google has picked "Alphabet" as the name for its new parent company: "‘Alphabet,’ From Ancient Greece to Google", by Ben Zimmer, in Word on the Street, Wall Street Journal (8/13/15) I think it's a brilliant choice, and our colleague Ben has done a good job of explaining why. [h.t. June Teufel Dreyer]
By betting on “Alphabet” as the name for its new parent company, Google is relying on a word that has only existed in English for about five centuries, writes Ben Zimmer.
The following is excerpted from my book Louis Armstrong, Master of Modernism. It has been edited for clarity and length. As lexicographer Ben Zimmer pointed out recently on an episode of Slate's Lexicon Valley podcast, the phrase heebie-jeebies...Show More Summary
Ben Zimmer "Donald Trump and Others With ‘No Filter’", WSJ 6/26/2015: When Donald Trump gave a speech announcing his candidacy for president last week, he seemed to utter whatever thoughts popped into his uniquely coifed head. […] The “filter” metaphor evokes the image of a straining mechanism functioning on a person’s thoughts and feelings, testing […]
J.K. Trotter, "Ben Smith and Jonah Peretti: The Gawker Interview", 4/22/2015 (From Ben Zimmer, who picked it up from Sebastian Stockman on Twitter — emphasis added): Keenan: They’re running the Pepsi Twitter account? Ben (to Jonah): Yes. Is that exactly accurate? I’m not in the weeds in this, but they had been— Jonah: They had been […]
The Associated Press didn’t announce any earthshaking changes last week at the annual American Copy Editors Society conference. But Ben Zimmer did notice a recurring topic. “It feels like at every session I’ve attended, singular ‘they’...Show More Summary
Ben Zimmer was recently in Pittsburgh, where he gave the keynote address at the American Copy Editors Society conference. He mentioned that one of the copy editors (Bill Walsh of the Washington Post) was confused by a sign for a newShow More Summary
Gary Cee beats around the bush and a video clip of the heart-stopping final moments of the 2015 A.C.P.T. provided by Ben Zimmer.
Ben Zimmer called my attention to this book cover, via David Adger's Twitter account: You can read for yourself what the English says. Let's see how well it matches the Chinese: bi?ozh?n ?? standard Y?ngwén sh?ngyè huìhuà b?irì t?ng ?? ???? ??? English commercial conversation; expert in a hundred days fù Zh?ngwén dúy?n ji?shì ??????? […]
ESPN Vikings reporter Ben Goessling discusses a rough season for Captain Munnerlyn.
Ben Zimmer discusses the expression “get one’s goat,” which he’s been investigating: All of the sources start with a 1904 book called Life in Sing Sing, a prison memoir by the anonymous convict “Number 1500.” In the chapter on “Slang Among Convicts,” the word goat is glossed as “anger; to exasperate,” but that doesn’t get […]
Ryan Broderick,"People Are Actually Writing The Word 'Firstable' Online Instead Of 'First Of All': What has the internet done to our brains?". In response, Ben Zimmer entered firstable in the Eggcorn Database, noting uses back to 1996: Firstable, the term “indian” and christianity were imposed in Peru through blood and fire by European conquerors.(Marxism mailing list, Jan. […]
My first thought upon reading the following announcement is that my colleagues and I here at Language Log headquarters hasten to claim Ben as one of ours (he doesn't just belong to the WSJ!): "WSJ's Ben Zimmer receives first LSA Linguistics Journalism Award" Here's the text of the LSA announcement: The Linguistic Society of America […]
Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer will be available Monday at 3 p.m. ET, where he will address the latest news surrounding the team. Follow along as ESPN Vikings reporter Ben Goessling reports from the news conference.
Via HiLobrow (8/10/2014), Ben Zimmer came across this virtuoso display of Gothic katakana on feitclub's Tumblr: I must confess that I have a hard time reading off this beautiful, ornate font, which is so different from the spare, simple, Japanese katakana. From Wikipedia, here's a chart of the latter for comparison: Goj?on – Katakana characters with […]
ESPN.com Minnesota Vikings reporter Ben Goessling discusses the conditioning test facing the team.
"Jersey Cite man to compete on Jeopardy", Hudson Reporter 6/29/30: Ben Zimmer, a linguist and language columnist from Jersey City, will compete on Jeopardy! on June 30 at 7 p.m. on WABC-TV.
“ Latest @OED update includes #hashtag — leading off with @stoweboyd's (uncredited) tweet re @chrismessina's proposal. http://ift.tt/1v9MqZD — Ben Zimmer (@bgzimmer) June 13, 2014 ”
Commenting on Facebook about Ben Zimmer's Language Log post on the Iraqi "Paul is dead" buffet sign, Anne Erdmann shared this buffet sign from China: The Chinese says zh?ng t?ch?n ???, for which Google Translate gives "steamed native", while Bing Translator gives "steam products" and Baidu Fanyi gives "steamed products". But what could zh?ng t?ch?n […]