Tuesday, October 21, 2014. Last Update: Mon 2:50 PM EST

Author Archive

Articles by Merrill Perlman | Email the Author

VideoPoker.jpg

Place your bets

The difference between “gambling” and “gaming”

You have to be in Vegas for a conference, and you decide to while some time away at the slots.... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Sex-isms

Gender politics and their words

Spend time on Twitter or Reddit, or anywhere on the internet for that matter, and you'll learn lots of new... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Un-words

Prefixes that make opposites, or not

English has many prefixes that make a word into a negative or opposite: Add "non-" to "profit," for example, and... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Un-coordinated

When to use commas between adjectives

Recently, in a column about other things, we asked whether you needed a comma in the phrase "the large blue... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Misbegotten

When ‘get’ is in the past

The Revolutionary War split the colonies from England, and with it, American English began to split from British English. We... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Language Corner

Nuclear attainment

An editorial discussed Iran's "determined program to attain nuclear-weapons capacity." Later, it cited pressure on Iran "to halt its aggressive... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Sincere-ly yours

Hyphenating (some) adverbs

The "rules" under which hyphens are used to connect multiple modifiers, like "well(-)known man," are varied and difficult to remember.... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Exit lines

Many ways to describe death

When people die, the words used to describe their passing vary greatly, often depending on how close the writer was... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Bizarro world

Opposite idioms

In recent weeks, we talked about idioms that are misheard, and thus miswritten. Now, we'll discuss some idioms that say... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Sounds like…

All the ways we misspeak and write

For two weeks we highlighted phrases that are written from what people hear, sometimes with amusing results. A reader asked:... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Misbegottens

More twisted idioms

Last week, we talked about some idioms that have been twisted by people who write them as they hear them,... More

sexting.jpg

Righting speech

When people misspell while talking

Here's a shocker: People don't talk the way they write, or the way they should write. They have accents; they... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Weathering heights

Unusual terms for not-so-unusual phenomena

Had the Weather Channel been around in the 1930s, it's possible that the period of severe drought, crop failure, and... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Body parts

Spelling malpractice

At a recent concert in Milwaukee, John Mayer dedicated a song to his girlfriend, Katy Perry, for helping him get... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Either win(s)

Verbs to use with neither/either

Either I or they is playing tricks with your head. Last week, we said that it's OK to use "or"... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Language Corner

Orchestra pits

Bob Kamman writes that he's seen "orchestrated" or "carefully orchestrated" misused a lot. He quoted a New York Times article... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Neither regions

Using “nor” or not

Neither you nor I set the "rules" of English; we do it together, by using words in certain ways. But... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Small bites

Making big numbers more understandable

The wildfires are at it again: One near Colorado Springs was really big. How big? CNN said it was about... More

lcdictionary.jpg

New math

Keeping numbers simpler

Last week, we talked about how the words used to express numbers can help (or confuse) readers. Now, let's talk... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Countdown

Help with numbers

Math is hard for many people, though it's often not the numbers that cause so many problems, but the words... More

Stop trolling your readers - We know you’re only doing it for clicks

Des Moines Register prepares for a ‘very stressful’ newsroom restructuring - Editor Amalie Nash speaks on turnover, transformation, and a virtual reality adventure

PBS pulls ads from Harper’s Magazine after critical essay - Piece argues public broadcaster has fallen under the sway of political influence and outside money

Should all journalists be on Twitter? - Reasons to take up or forgo the 140-character platform

The Tennessean is borrowing reporters from other Gannett papers - Music columnist Peter Cooper is latest journalist to part ways with Nashville paper


High Times hits middle age (NYMag)

After 40 years, every issue still features a weed centerfold

Lawmakers on why they’re mired in place (Esquire)

Mark Warren “spoke with 90 members of the House and Senate about what’s gone so wrong in Congress. Sometimes it got a little emotional.”

My childhood friend, the ISIS jihadist (Mashable)

How a young Danish man turned extremist

What it’s like to carry a Nobel Prize through Fargo (SciAm)

“And they’re like, ‘Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?’ ‘The King of Sweden.’ ‘Why did he give this to you?’ ‘Because I helped discover the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating.’”

Bloggingheads

Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

  • If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $19.95 (6 issues in all).
  • If not, simply write cancel on the bill and return it. You will owe nothing.

Who Owns What

The Business of Digital Journalism

A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Study Guides

Questions and exercises for journalism students.