April 6, 1990 |
The jurors in the John M. Poindexter trial knotted the courtroom in a legal quandary Thursday when they sent a note to the judge with a simple plea: "We need a dictionary. Please." The reply was not simple. U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene called lawyers for the prosecution and defense in the Iran-Contra case to the courtroom for advice. "I'm not playing hide the ball," defense attorney Richard W.
December 20, 1993 |
Kids! They say the darnedest things. Like barney , the description not of a large purple dinosaur, but of a "very nice looking guy." (Sample sentence: "That guy has such a good body--what a barney!") Of course in another context, barney also translates to a "stupid or inadequate male, a loser." ("That guy is a real barney.") Then again, there's barney the verb, meaning "to mess up." ("I barneyed on my math midterm yesterday.") Or barney , the beginning surfer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2003 |
VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican has issued a dictionary of definitions aimed at clearing up ambiguity about Roman Catholic thought on sexuality and bioethics. The Vatican Congregation for the Family began quietly distributing its 867-page, Italian-language "Lexicon" to bookshops this week. It did not follow the usual Vatican procedure of calling a news conference to introduce and explain the work. The book is expected eventually to be translated into English and other languages.
March 13, 2006 |
The music called the blues can express emotions with unmistakable clarity, but some of the words, whether sung by 1930s Mississippi Delta sharecroppers or big-city electric-guitar heroes, can be pretty obscure. Hunting down the origins and meanings of those words was the mission of New Jersey rock musician and journalist Debra DeSalvo. The result, "The Language of the Blues," is a witty, bawdy and fascinating dictionary.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 1995 |
Standing in front of nearly 1,000 Canoga Park students assembled in his honor Tuesday, Bob French admitted he felt a bit like Santa Claus. It wasn't hard to see why. The burly member of Canoga Park's Elks Lodge came to Limerick Avenue Elementary School to donate a set of brand-new dictionaries to the school and said he's letting his beard grow to portray St. Nick next month.
January 26, 1998 |
Submarining, sneakernet, clustergeeking, larval stage, scratch monkey, TCP/IP, interface, GUI, gopher, splash screen, WYSIWYG, bundle, peanut, Pentium, encryption, open architecture, LAN, push, SIMM, DIMM, RAM, DRAM, VRAM. Oh, what does it all mean? With the ever-rising popularity of the Internet and personal computers, there seems to be--no, there is--a whole new language seeping into our conversations, our media and our thoughts faster than you can say fencepost error. What's a person to do?
October 23, 1991 |
Delivering the final word in a monthlong trial, a federal court jury Tuesday awarded Merriam-Webster Co. nearly $2.3 million after finding that Random House had damaged Merriam by issuing a volume confusingly similar to Merriam's "Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary."
August 12, 2005 |
Seeking more "street cred" (n. popularity with or acceptance by the common people), Webster's New World College Dictionary has added almost 80 new words and definitions, an update that reflects the nation's current obsessions, from Al Qaeda and WMD on one hand to Botox and LASIK on the other. The 1,700-page dictionary is updated every year as editors try to keep pace with a constantly evolving language and include what they deem the "breakout" (adj.
March 25, 1989 |
The uninitiated may understandably wonder what all the fuss is about. Here's novelist Anthony Burgess calling it "the greatest publishing event of the century." It is to be marked by a half-day seminar and lunch at that bluest of blue-blood London hostelries, Claridge's. The guest list of 250 dignitaries is a literary "Who's Who."
May 11, 1998 |
Merriam-Webster defines the word "nigger" as, simply, a "black person." Not so, says an ad hoc coalition of civil rights and black activists, who argue that the "N-word" actually is a defamatory slur associated with black people--not a broadly sweeping noun synonymous with them. This sort of etymological debate typically rages within a self-contained community of wordsmiths laboring unseen and little noticed on college campuses or at major publishing houses.