Mark Peters resurrects some old words to describe writers.
By Mark Clague
The Fourth of July, aka “Independence Day” (the annual federal holiday in the United States marking the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence from Britain), is cause for national celebration and certainly the celebration of nationalism. Fireworks, orchestral concerts, parades, 5-K runs, carnivals, family picnics, and political speeches are common holiday happenings. Many are accompanied by music, especially by a haphazard class of folk tunes known as patriotic song that often defy historical logic, but nevertheless have become potent cultural symbols.
Well the time has come for me to say goodbye to all of you lovely readers. Running the OUPblog has been a dream job and leaving is very bittersweet. So I thought before I left we could take a trip down memory lane and review some of the best blog posts of the past. This list certainly is not conclusive, just a few of the thousands of posts I had the honor of sharing with you. Please keep in touch. You can follow my adventures on twitter @FordBecca. Ciao!
By Ruth Fielder
At the age of sixteen I was told that I would no longer be able to play my beloved trumpet, due to medical complications. The only alternative, to uphold my county scholarship and commitments to orchestras and brass bands, was to take up the tuba. The arrogant trumpeter that I was back then was horrified at this cumbersome instrument, cuddling a great lump of brass that seemed to prove no merit to my sense of style or popularity.
Arrested Development—the cult comedy set to rise from the dead on Netflix 26 May 2013—had its own distinctive language. It was a show of catchphrases: “I’ve made a huge mistake.” “No touching!” “I’m a monster!” “There’s always money in the Banana Stand.” “Steve Holt!” “Her?”
I’m no doctor, but Facebook-ectomy is a helluva creative word, and it occurs to me that I’ve been taking -ectomy for granted as a wild and wooly word-producer. Well, I haven’t completed ignored it, as my nonce-word blog has included ponytail-ectomy, butthole-ectomy, homework-ectomy, and who-knows-what-ectomy. My favorite finds are right-side-of-my-head-ectomy and alien-head-ectomy. I’m pretty sure either surgery would qualify as an ouchie…
Ben Zimmer looks at hapax legomena.
Many lessons can be gleaned from watching reruns of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: Indirect sunlight is not an unlife-ender for vampires. Some small-town mayors may yearn to become giant unholy snake things (no surprise there). As Cordelia Chase said, “People, you’ve got to leave your tombs earthed.” (Whoops, that was on the Buffy spinoff Angel—but whatever).
Some word love for Valentine’s Day.
Mark Peters, a language columnist for Good and Visual Thesaurus, as well as the blogger behind The Pancake Proverbs, The Rosa Parks of Blogs, and Wordlustitude is our guest blogger this week. In this post, he looks at nonce words in the Oxford English Dictionary
Mark Peters explains when and how to properly use the f-word and its variations.
Mark Peters looks at all the variations of the snowclone “set phasers to x” on Twitter.
Mark Peters looks at the language of The Big Lebowski.
Mark Peters looks at the various uses of “hench” as a prefix.