An obsolete term still has its place in some legal contexts.
A look at a distinctively American political term and its distinctively obscure derivation.
A phrase much in use lately to describe uncomfortable silences reminds us how idioms work best when they stay in touch with their origins.
‘Care’ began as an emotion but now is an activity accounting for nearly a fifth of the United States economy.
A look at Washington’s vocabulary for ways of making officials available to the media – or not.
Political ‘women in white’ at the US president’s address to Congress prompt thoughts on the link between ‘suffering’ and ‘suffrage.’
A hardworking ancient three-letter root turns out to be at the foot of many words across Indo-European languages.
The Monitor’s language columnist is reminded that bureaucracy is literally ‘rule by desks.’
A leaked memo and the controversy about Confederate memorials are both potentially monumental stories.
After the French presidential election, a look at our vocabulary for describing political parties.
The roots of this common word hint that striking a deal can be such hard work.
The story of the Huguenots may have some lessons for us today.
After the “dragged passenger” incident, United Airlines has an opportunity to learn what it really means to “accommodate” the public.
Women pose for photographers on the first day of the Royal Ascot horse race in Ascot, England, on June 20.
The discovery of a whole family of new-to-us planets is a reminder how observatories have evolved over time.
A new(ish) term of art for resistance that moves at a stately pace.
Merriam-Webster’s ‘trending now’ words: the vocabulary of a new era in Washington.
Thoughts on language rights and language learning as International Mother Language Day is observed.
Unraveling the mysteries of proper names.
A look at how some odd place names may – or may not – have come to be.
Does a term borrowed from Arthurian legend get maybe too much of a workout in the news media?
After year-end remembrances of the dear departed, a look at why we call them ‘late.’
A look at three idioms for different kinds of ‘distance’ – literal and figurative.
If you've read 'Verbal Energy' over the past year, you'll have all the answers.