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

‘Fall Guys’ in Sports, Crime and Politics (Aug. 29, 2015)
A phrase that necessitated an apology from sports broadcaster Cris Carter has its roots in the criminal underworld of 120 years ago.

The ‘Stacked Deck’ From Gambling to Politics (Aug. 22, 2015)
From a maneuver of shady gamblers to today’s politics, the phrase “stacked deck” gets a lot of use.

‘Alphabet,’ From Ancient Greece to Google (Aug. 15, 2015)
By betting on “Alphabet” as the name for its new parent company, Google is relying on a word that has only existed in English for about five centuries.

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

Slate’s Lexicon Valley

Why Do Latin Americans Call English Speakers Gringos? (Episode No. 67, Aug. 24, 2015)

A Non-French Speaker Won the French Language Scrabble Championship. How Is That Possible? (Aug. 5, 2015)

Read more language commentary on Slate here.