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

You Heard ’Em Here First: Words of 2015 (Jan. 3, 2015)
Candidates for the words we’ll be saying in 2015, from ‘textruption’ to ‘oxt weekend’ to ‘honkenbonkers’.

‘Ephemeral’ Is a Permanently Useful Term (Dec. 27, 2014)
The spread of disappearing-message services like Snapchat has spurred new interest in the word ‘ephemeral’.

The Phrase ‘Lone Wolf’ Goes Back Centuries (Dec. 20, 2014)
A phrase used to describe the culprit in the Sydney siege stretches centuries back to Native American chiefs, Kipling and Crane.

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

Slate’s Lexicon Valley

How Stuart Scott Made Booyah His Own (Jan. 5, 2015)

Too Much Grog Will Make You Groggy. But Where Does Grog Come From? (Episode No. 49, Dec. 15, 2014)

Read more language commentary on Slate here.


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