Articles

Federal Parade
How 'OK' Became OK with Americans

American History, May 2020.
OK, America's most famous word invention, started out as an insider joke among newspaper editors and their faithful readers. Then it caught on with the rest of us.

Lewis and Clark
How Lewis and Clark Helped Shape American English

Atlas Obscura, February 8, 2018.
President Jefferson told Lewis and Clark to record every object in their surroundings "worthy of notice." That meant creating a host of new and repurposed words.

1870s Words
Top Ten Misused Words of the 1870s

Huffington Post, May 21, 2015.
Modern usage mavens would no doubt agree with critic Richard Grant White's dire predictions about the English language, but they might be surprised by the words he condemned.

Abraham Lincoln
The Secret of Abraham Lincoln's Success as a Writer

Time.com, February 19, 2015.
His enemies called him a slang-whanging stump speaker, but he knew his grammar inside-out.

Noah Webster
Trial by Stagecoach

American History, December 2017.
Noah Webster's 1785 book tour was likely the first-ever in the United States. It was a challenging exercise in survival.

Plain Language
In English Please

Entrepreneur.com, May 2001.
When you're getting ready to tackle that stack of paperwork, go for plain English — it saves time and money.