Barbara Wallraff

  • Word Fugitives

    Toeing the line; Oh, no, you dishn't!

  • Word Court

    Dubious distinctions; the F-word

  • Word Fugitives

    In December a woman who likes to imitate peculiar sounds asked for a word on her husband’s behalf—one he could use when she does it in public,…

  • Word Court

    Fast and unloose; late-model blues

  • Word Fugitives

    Reasonable people may disagree: Is a husband who puts his friends to shame by lavishing presents on his wife a wanker, a schmuck, maybe even an…

  • Word Court

    Janet Testerman, of Naples, Fla., writes: “I am teaching a high-school world-history class for the first time this year, and I’m baffled. At…

  • Word Fugitives

    In the July/August issue, we sought a catchall term for the heap of stuff new parents suddenly find themselves toting around along with their…

  • Word Court

    KENNETH SHAY, of Ann Arbor, Mich., writes, “Has systematic violation of a particular kind of subject-verb agreement become so commonplace as to…

  • Word Fugitives

    Who knew that people could get so worked up about the domestic behavior of total strangers? In May a woman des­cribed her husband as a “pack…

  • Word Court

    Gerrit Petersen, of Brookline, Mass., writes: “With increasing frequency, I’ve been hearing the phrase to step foot in substituted for the…

  • Word Fugitives

    In March we asked for “a word to de­scribe a kind of typographical error: hitting a function key by mistake while typing on a computer,”…

  • Word Court

    Craig R. Nunn, of Nashville, Tenn., writes: “I’ve become increasingly intolerant of what must be the most common redundancy in our language:…

  • Word Fugitives

    What would be “a word for that time of half sleep when one thinks of the solution to a problem” or the like? This challenge, when it was…

  • Word Court

    CATHY CIKRA of Hartville, Ohio, writes: "A colleague and I have a dispute about 'dangling' participles at the ends of sentences. He takes an…

  • Word Fugitives

    In October a reader in Kingston, Washington, requested a word for "the reflection of moonlight on water and the way it follows you as you…

  • Word Court

    David Paisley, of Lakewood, Ohio, writes, "This drives me crazy: service used as a verb by supposedly intelligent people in the social-services…

  • Word Fugitives

    In July a reader sought "a term for a smell that you recognize but can't place." As was mentioned in the October issue, word fugitives for all kinds…

  • Word Court

    George Wolff, of St. Pete Beach, Florida, writes, "Can you settle a dispute for me? My wife, who is quite strict about grammar, is not prepared to…

  • Word Fugitives

    In May a reader asked, "What is the word to describe the moment right before you are about to do something terribly stupid, when everything runs in…

  • Word Court

    Daniel S. Weir, of East Aurora, New York, writes, "A usage that I've begun seeing and hearing disturbs me. A recent newspaper headline read, 'School…

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