Ben Zimmer is the executive producer of Vocabulary.com 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
How ‘Genocide’ Was Coined (Oct. 25, 2014)
The word ‘genocide’ turns 70. Behind the word, the story of a lawyer’s crusade to prevent the crime.
Ebola Invokes Plague Term ‘Quarantine’ (Oct. 18, 2014)
The 40-day period that gave ‘quarantine’ its name may have had Biblical sources.
Spoiler Alert: How Spoilers Started Out (Oct. 11, 2014)
Do you hate spoilers? Read no further. Revealing how the term began.
Read more language commentary in The Wall St. Journal here.
Slate’s Lexicon Valley podcast
LinguaFile IV: Where Did the Word Snark Come From? (Episode No. 45, Oct. 20, 2014)
LinguaFile III: Which Came First: Orange the Color or Orange the Fruit? (Episode No. 43, Sept. 23, 2014)
LinguaFile II: Can You Guess the Mystery Word? (Episode No. 41, Aug. 25, 2014)
Read more language commentary on Slate here.