Archive for Specific Words


I just encountered an authorial note by Robert A. Heinlein, possibly written around 1980, that used the word happy-making. I think I only started to see that word used in the last twenty years or so, so I got curious about when it come into use. My dictionary was silent on the matter, but Google […]


From 2010: US Supreme Court Justices react to use of the word “orthogonal” in an oral argument. (In case any of y’all aren’t familiar with this use of the term: in computer circles, it generally means something along the lines of “unrelated” or “independent”; if you say “that issue is orthogonal to what we’re discussing,” […]


The other day, Mary Anne linked to an article that claimed that the new gender-neutral title “Mx” was being officially added to the OED. I'm not linking to that article...