The Good Word

Off Brands

Understanding the terrible spelling and punctuation in corporate names.

Jan. 28 2014 2:25 PMWill We Use Commas in the Future?Maybe.
Nov. 25 2013 9:45 AM¿Does English Need Upside-Down Punctuation?¡Yes!
Sept. 5 2013 12:53 PMAre You a Language Bully?Cut it out.
July 29 2013 11:25 AMWhat the ...Why everyone and your mother started using ellipses ... everywhere.
May 28 2013 6:02 PMWait, I Have to Know What It Means, Too?Shame on the Scripps National Spelling Bee for forcing contestants to memorize definitions.
April 1 2013 5:41 AMWhy Do We Hate Certain Words?The curious phenomenon of word aversion.
Aug. 22 2012 7:34 AMVowel MovementHow Americans near the Great Lakes are radically changing the sound of English.
Feb. 21 2012 5:05 PMNo More Chinks in the ArmorThe Jeremy Lin controversy suggests it’s time to retire the phrase for good.
Sept. 20 2011 12:57 PMThe Britishism InvasionLanguage corruption is a two-way street.
July 26 2011 10:06 AMAn Uh, Er, Um EssayIn praise of verbal stumbles.
May 24 2011 4:32 PMThe Case—Please Hear Me Out—Against the Em DashModern prose doesn't need any more interruptions—seriously.
April 26 2011 7:03 AMWikipedia's "Macaca" ProblemThe user-generated encyclopedia makes George Allen's faux pas seem more clear-cut than it really was.
Nov. 1 2010 6:12 PMCapital EmbellishmentWhy do Tea Partiers uppercase so many of their nouns?
April 14 2010 11:16 AMWhat David Foster Wallace Circled in His DictionaryA complete list, courtesy of the Ransom Center.
March 24 2010 10:51 AMThe New KlingonWithout so much as a dictionary, Avatar fans are learning how to speak Na'vi.
Dec. 29 2013 11:55 PMWhoa! Woah?! Whoah.How an old exclamation became the Internet’s most variously spelled word.
Oct. 20 2013 11:45 PMShame on EveryoneJust because you don’t like someone’s criticism doesn’t mean they’re “shaming” you.
July 31 2013 8:30 AMWhat Is the Icelandic Word for “Four”?Fjórar. No, fjórir. No, fjögurra. No, fjarki. No …
July 1 2013 3:33 PMNo OffenseProfanity is changing. For the better.
May 23 2013 12:07 PMAre Apostrophes Necessary?Not really, no.
March 6 2013 5:37 AMPlease Do Not ChillaxAdjoinages and the death of the American pun.
May 31 2012 6:50 AMFalse Fronts in the Language WarsWhy New Yorker writers and others keep pushing bogus controversies.
Nov. 4 2011 12:52 PMCheerio, Bumbershoot!The word is not actually British for umbrella.
Aug. 18 2011 7:37 AMThat's So MystoWhat makes slang stick?
July 12 2011 11:03 AMQuestioning the Inca ParadoxDid the civilization behind Machu Picchu really fail to develop a written language?
May 12 2011 10:07 AMThe Rise of "Logical Punctuation".The period outside the quotation marks is not a copy error.
April 7 2011 10:08 AMThe "Nonplussed" ProblemHow long should we cling to a word's original meaning?
Sept. 8 2010 4:14 PMResearch in the CribWhat happens when language scientists use their own children as test subjects?
April 14 2010 7:03 AMIt's Time To Retire KabukiThe word doesn't mean what pundits think it does.
Dec. 10 2009 7:05 AMTiger Woods Does Not Have 11 "Mistresses"His many paramours aren't committed enough to merit that term.

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