Friday, January 30, 2015. Last Update: Fri 6:50 AM EST

Language Corner

gun.jpg

Measuring up

Uses of “gauge”

The word “gauge” plays several roles. It both measures something and is the measure of something. A speedometer, for example,... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Striking redundant expressions

Why use two words when one would do?

"Write tighter" is a plea most journalists have heard, probably more than once. One way to do so is to... More

syria_ND13_stack.jpg.jpg

Old rivalries, old words

The reappearance of “caliphate” and “the Levant”

From a language point of view, what's happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been... More

alanis.jpg

How to tell if you’re using ‘irony’ or ‘sarcasm’

It’s a fine line

A father and daughter were deep in discussion over breakfast at a diner. "That's not irony, that's sarcasm," the father... More

iraq10.jpeg

‘Civil’ versus ‘sectarian’ conflicts

How to pick the most accurate war word

Iraq is now faced with an escalation of "sectarian violence," and Syria is still ensnared in its "civil war." Those... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Accentuate the positive

When to use diacritics

English has no accents, formally known as diacritical marks, or diacritics. But many words that arrived from other languages do... More

kimye.jpg

Words associated with weddings

Inspiration hat-tip to Kim and Kanye

The recent wedding of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West presents an opportunity to discuss the snarky "announcement" that ran in... More

squirrel.jpg

Squirreling away the eggcorns

A collection of misleading phrases

We've discussed "eggcorns," phrases so tantalizingly close to idioms or common expressions that they actually make some sense, twisted though... More

graduation.jpg

Finishing school

Words associated with graduation

It's graduation season, a good time to look at some of the words and ceremonies associated with this rite of... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Effusive suffixes

Adding -age to a word may sound fancy, but it’s usually unnecessary

A marketing website offered a course called "Storytelling Through Reportage Video Production." "Reportage is defined as the act of reporting... More

prison.jpg

Avoid ‘venue’ and ‘facility’

When naming buildings in a story, specificity is key

In the 1964 printing of Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, College Edition, "facility" has four definitions, only... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Language Corner

Unbalanced

Not only does grammar like order, it likes balance. And that first sentence is unbalanced. Just as either needs or,... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Famous lost words

Misplaced phrases or modifiers

Word people love to have fun with misplaced modifiers. The most recognized of these are dangling participles, where a phrase... More

allergies.jpeg

Ker-choo!

To catch a sneeze

In honor of allergy season, here's a riddle: What word's first syllable is pronounced differently than the way it is... More

bluechina.jpg

Pretentious, or quaint?

Amongst, amidst, whilst

The headline on a recent article in a Tennessee newspaper said the local teachers were "among best-paid" in the state.... More

Virginian-Pilot journalists: Corporate management pressure is stifling coverage - “Lovers of journalism in this newsroom are pissed. It’s bad.”

Paper files public records request—and city’s response is a lawsuit - Local officials argue Montana courts should strike balance between privacy and disclosure

BBC Pop-Up reports from small town America - A small team is traveling across the United States for six months in hopes of finding underreported local stories

What game design can do for journalism - Three newly selected fellows at American University talk about the medium’s future

Timeline, an app based on ‘the history of…’ - But chronology doesn’t reveal everything


Photojournalism while pregnant (NYT Mag)

“Momentarily forgetting I was pregnant, I jockeyed for a position close enough to capture the initial moments of euphoria, hurling myself into the mix of hundreds of frenzied relatives. As the weight of men started to close in on me, I realized how vulnerable I was and started to panic.”

We should all step back from security journalism (Medium)

“It should be made clear, in law, that the tasks security reseachers do to make the net more secure and journalists do to understand and contextualize the truth for the public are not crimes”

Trust In Business And Media Is Declining, But People Have Faith In Search Engines (Buzzfeed)

People have become less trusting of major institutions, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer. And large majorities doubt that businesses want to make the world a better place.

With New Charlie Hebdo Cover, News Value Should Have Prevailed (NYT)

Public editor Margaret Sullivan on why the paper should have published the images.

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.