The Word Guy / Knowledge

Summer Reading for Word Lovers

Whether you're heading for hostels, highways or hammocks this summer, curl up with one of these new books about words.

In "Authorisms: Words Wrought by Writers" ($18), veteran lexicographer Paul Dickson tells the fascinating backstories of ...

Welcome to the 'Twilight' Zone

"Twilight." Where in the world did it come from?

No, not the teen movie series -- the word.

Although we usually use "twilight" in reference to dusk, it can also refer to the dim light at dawn. And that provides a clue to its origin.

The Old ...

I.O.U. an Explanation of I.E.

Q: One linguistic usage that always throws me for a loop is whether to use "i.e." or "e.g." to cite an example or examples. Would you mind clarifying the rules around this? -- Debbie via email

A: I'll be glad to, i.e., I'll explain.

The ...