The Word Guy / Knowledge

How to Avoid 'Trash Talk'

When flight attendants collect our napkins, plastic cups and cellophane wrappers before a landing, they're instructed to ask passengers, not for their "trash," but for their "service items."

According to a former flight attendant I heard on the ...

Laws Were Made to Be Spoken

What do you call a lawyer who writes a book about words? A grammar-head shark.

Just kidding. In "Law Talk." librarian Fred Shapiro and lawyers James Clapp, Elizabeth Thornburg and Marc Galanter tell the fascinating stories behind many legal ...

Using 'Times Less' Multiplies Confusion

Q: I often hear sentences like this: "We had three times less rain this year than last." I think what they mean is that we had one-third the quantity of rain this year as we did last year, but I also think that one cannot use the word "times" when...