Ben Zimmer is the executive editor of and
the Visual Thesaurus, language columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and
former language columnist for The Boston Globe and The New York Times Magazine.

The Wall Street Journal

Just Don’t Call It a Stylus (Feb. 21, 2015)
The makers of a new breed of smartphones and tablets are reinventing the stylus—but avoiding the word.

For GOP Reformers, a Key Vowel (Feb. 14, 2015)
A new word is describing reform-minded conservatives—‘reformocon,’ or ‘reformicon’—but people are disagreeing how to spell it.

How ‘Secular’ Became a Word for Clerics and Economists (Feb. 7, 2015)
From Roman times, diverse meanings for clerics and economists.

Read more language commentary in The Wall St. Journal here.

Slate’s Lexicon Valley

Did the Word Quiz Result From a Bet? (Episode No. 53, Feb. 10, 2015)

The Etymology of Cockamamie Is Just That (Episode No. 51, Jan. 12, 2015)

Read more language commentary on Slate here.


The Linguistic Power of the Protest Phrase “I Can’t Breathe” (Dec. 15, 2014)