Category: The Word Lovers’ File

Vocab enhancement with marketing in mind.

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2013: Words of the Year

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 by Eric Wilinksi

Ten years ago, if you’d said “bitcoin” or “selfie” in conversation, you would’ve received a strange look in reply. Today, these words not only exist, they’re in common usage. It’s a reflection of the rapidity of change in our world—and of the creative juice of homo sapiens, of our power to invent new language to […]

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Appropriated* Word of the Month: Velleity

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 by Alicia Springer

Ever since I won the weekly Vocabulary Bee four weeks running in fourth grade, I’ve been pretty smug about my conversance with lexical arcana. So, I was impressed when *Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus introduced me to a new and tasty word, velleity: Wishy-Washy Word of the Day: velleity You know all those things that you’ve always […]

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Word of the Season: Tradition (as in: Ramos Gin Fizz)

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 by Alicia Springer

You can’t swing a dead sprig of mistletoe these days without coming across a witty disquisition on holiday-season language (my favorite so far: see below*, but only after you’ve read mine). Never one to compete with the experts, I am taking, instead, very broad aim at a very broad term: tradition. And then, because nobody […]

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Painting Pictures with Words

Friday, December 2nd, 2011 by Chris Kent

I am a “word” person, as opposed to a “picture” person. I can use words to describe a beautiful thing that I have seen, but in spite of years of effort, I can’t take a decent photo that captures what I can see in my mind’s eye—and forget about sketching or painting. I am the […]

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A Stranglehold on Mindshare, with Compound Interest

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 by Alicia Springer

Business-speak seems to spawn imaginative metaphorical meanings for compound words. We have turnkey solutions to bandwidth issues and roadmaps to implementing backend gateways; we have sales pipelines and streamlined workflows and software toolkits and downstream upsells. Lately, we have been seeing some compound word metaphors that leave even Content Bureau eggheads with a bit of a headache…

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Word of the Season: Gimlet

Friday, June 24th, 2011 by Alicia Springer

The summer solstice is upon us, and I am in drippy, humid New York City, visiting family. My nephew’s cologne sits on the bathroom sink, begging to be spritzed. Weekend by Burberry: it smells of cut grass and grapefruit and vodka tonics. Or is it vodka gimlets? I cast a gimlet eye on 21-year-olds feeling […]

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Waitin’ on the Levee

Friday, May 13th, 2011 by Alicia Springer

Everybody who follows the news knows what a “levee” is nowadays, between Hurricane Katrina and the current flooding on the Mississippi, but it was once a prime example of regional language.

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When a Thesaurus is Not Just a Thesaurus

Friday, April 22nd, 2011 by Alicia Springer

A good thesaurus not only helps you find the right word, it helps you navigate your train of thought. Here’s a great online thesaurus that a word lover could get lost in.

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Overused But Indispensable

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 by Alicia Springer

Word lovers from various fields–marcomm, design, philanthropy, venture capital, and entertainment PR–tell us about the overused words they can’t live without, no matter how much they’d like to.

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The Word Lover’s File

Friday, February 25th, 2011 by Alicia Springer

I thought about calling this new monthly CB blog column “The Lexiphiliac Gazette.” Lexiphiliac is a cool word, and maybe even a real word (not in my Webster’s*, but plenty of bloggers seem to like it). It runs afoul, however, of The Writer’s Golden Rule: don’t use a fancy big word when a plain little […]

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