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Posts Tagged: Megan Garber

Language as Passive-Aggression

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At the Atlantic, Megan Garber proposes a new word to describe words and phrases that have come to mean their opposite, like “honestly,” “no offense,” and “literally”: So here’s one proposal: Let’s call these words “smarmonyms.” Because they’re the words that exist because we English-speakers can be, at times, awkward and passive-aggressive and jerky and, yes, a little […]

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The Decline of Punctuation?!…

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We live in a heyday of punctuation. “Call this what you will—exclamatory excess, punctuation inflation, the result of the Internet’s limitless expanse—it is everywhere,” writes Megan Garber at the Atlantic. But perhaps not for long—with the rise of image-based expression like emoji and gifs, we are finding new ways to express ourselves, and we’re leaving […]

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“Because” Has New Meaning, Because Grammar

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Like it or not, the meanings and uses of words are constantly shifting, because language. At the Atlantic, Megan Garber writes about how the word “because,” normally a subordinating conjunction, is increasingly being used as a preposition, with examples and possible linguistic explanations: However it originated, though, the usage of “because-noun” (and of “because-adjective” and “because-gerund”) […]

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Slow Clap

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Megan Garber gives an exceptionally detailed breakdown of applause in this essay, which analyzes the history and evolution of the everyday gesture. So the subtleties of the Roman arena — the claps and the snaps and the shades of meaning — gave way, in later centuries, to applause that was standardized and institutionalized and, as a result, a […]

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No More Room for “Whom”

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Via The Millions, an Atlantic blog post on the death of “America’s least favorite pronoun”: the dreaded “whom.” It always feels like society is crumbling when big linguistic changes occur, but as Megan Garber points out, even notorious grammar stickler William Safire advised rewriting sentences to avoid using the objective-case equivalent of “who.” If “whom” […]

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