that's a good word

It was a tranquil evening at the Free Press when editors Claire and Ben burst into the newsroom carrying freshly printed maps. The maps depicted the historical topography, or physical features, of the Mississippi river. [read more...]
My editor recently introduced me to the word superimposed. We were going through my article on the origin of the peace symbol. She told me the semaphore positions for N and D were superimposed to create the peace sign, which originally stood for “Nuclear Disarmament.” Semaphore is a system for signaling, using hand-held flags. Then she asked me if I knew what superimposed meant. I didn’t know what it meant, but it turned out to be just the word I needed. [read more...]
I hope you find this paragraph to be grammatically immaculate. [read more...]
On a recent fall evening our office was filled with discussion. My editors were talking about a special assignment and they were looking for volunteers. Before I knew what the project was, I raised my hand. Then I remembered that around a newsroom you should be careful what you sign up for. It might be a new 4-part series on college chemistry. [read more...]
The word harbinger originally meant a person who arrives at a new place to secure lodging for another group of people, usually an army. Modern synonyms for harbinger include scout or forerunner. [read more...]
Quick, what’s the plural of octopus? Did you say octopi? You’re not alone. [read more...]
A creature of the far north is the lemming. But this word doesn’t just refer to a mouse-like rodent. It is also used to describe people who follow the crowd without question, potentially leading to dangerous consequences. This metaphor comes from the myth that large groups of lemmings jump off of cliffs when they migrate. While this legend isn’t true, it’s still a good idea to avoid becoming a lemming. Think for yourself and make good choices, even if it seems like crowd is doing something different. [read more...]
Freudian is the shortened version of the psychology term “Freudian Slip”. This is a phrase often used when someone lets a thought or emotion from their subconscious verbally slip out. Sigmund Freud is one of the most well known psychologists. He founded psychoanalysis and treatment through free association. Many of his theories and techniques are still widely used today. [read more...]
There are many useful words that find their origins in geography. Here are just a few. [read more...]