Vocabulary / Knowledge

Browse for Your High Brows

Wondering what to give your favorite geniuses this holiday season? These new books about language will delight your professorial posse, even Rudolph, the well-read, knows-all brain, dear.

Speaking of brains, Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist...

Today's Word "Sanctimonious"

sanctimonious \saengk-teh-MO-ni-ehs\ (adjective) - Making a show of piety, sanctity; pretending to be pious or religious. "My boss is a sanctimonious pirate who quotes the Bible as justification for forcing us to work longer and harder." ...

Today's Word "Fetching"

fetching \FE-ching\ (adjective) - Alluring, fascinating, pleasant. "He cut an even more fetching figure in the candlelight than he did on the sunlit deck of the sloop." Middle English "fecchen" from Old English "fetian." If the Old English ...

Today's Word "Dudgeon"

dudgeon \DEH-jehn\ (noun) - No, today's word has nothing to do with subterranean jails but rather the mood of someone leaving one: angry, indignant humor, resentfulness. At one time it also referred to the wood of the boxwood tree, a material ...

Today's Word " Faldage"

faldage \FAL-dij\ (noun) - The privilege of setting up folds (pens) in which tenants are required to keep their sheep, and moving them about to any fields the owner wishes in order to fertilize those fields. "You may have free faldage on my ...

A Usage Whose Time Has Come

Q. In the sentence, "None of that revenue is going to the city, whose main source of income is taxes," is it correct to use "whose" to refer to a city, an inanimate object? -- Mary Kaskan, Watertown, N.Y.

A. Yes!

As the English language ...