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The scars of old stars

The Oxford Etymologist is out of hibernation and picks up where he left off in mid-December. It may be profitable to return to the origin of “star”, but from a somewhat broader perspective.

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Twinkle, twinkle, or stars and sparks

Nothing is known about the origin of the phrase “Milky Way.” By contrast, the origin of the word “star” is not hopelessly obscure, which is good, because stars and obscurity have little in common.

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Down the rabbit hole

If you are a writer, you’ve probably gone down a rabbit hole at one point or another. The idiom owes its meaning to Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, in which Alice literally does that.

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The wiles of folk etymology

Words, as linguistics tells us, are conventional signs. Some natural phenomenon is called rain or snow, and, if you don’t know what those words mean, you will never guess. But everything in our consciousness militates against such a rupture between word and thing.

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Winter etymology gleanings

Both “thank” and “give” deserve our attention! And it is those two outwardly unexciting words that I’ll offer today as part of our etymological feast.

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From Halloween to Thanksgiving

Both “thank” and “give” deserve our attention! And it is those two outwardly unexciting words that I’ll offer today as part of our etymological feast.

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The sky’s the limit

English (uncharacteristically) has two, if not even three, words for the sphere above us: sky, heaven, and firmament.

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Wondering about the subjunctive

“He wondered if he were hallucinating.” I came across that use of the subjunctive while listening to the audiobook of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

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How is OUP contributing to the open research landscape today?

As a mission-driven university press, we strongly support the opening up of research and the benefits for access and inclusion that OA brings. We want to ensure that the transition towards open research is an inclusive process—to use the title of OA week, “it matters how we open knowledge.”

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Five key areas of communication for research integrity

Why do breakdowns in research teams occur? Often, it is due to a failure by all the team members to communicate clearly, honestly, and respectfully about the goals of the team and each individual, as well as expectations and understanding of responsible research conduct.

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