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Ben Zimmer
Works at The Wall St. Journal
Attended University of Chicago
1,814 followers|161,837 views
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Ben Zimmer

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In which I debunk the 1648 "emoticon" making the rounds...
"I discovered what looks to be the first emoticon!" So read an excited blog post from Levi Stahl, an editor and publicity manager at the University of Chicago Press, who had been reading the 17th-century poet Robert Herrick. Stahl came across this line in a 1648 poem entitled "To Fortune":...
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Well, you knew I had to weigh in on Gwyneth's "conscious uncoupling." My latest column for +The Wall Street Journal: http://bit.ly/couplingbz
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When March Madness hits, everyone's a bracketologist. But where did "brackets" come from? My latest column for +The Wall Street Journal:  http://bit.ly/bracketbz
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Is Kansas, home of the Jayhawk, also home of the jaywalk? My latest for +The Wall Street Journalhttp://on.wsj.com/jaywalkbz
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Taking Jaywalking back; waaaayyyyy back!  Thanks!

@dlpiercecom
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Ben Zimmer

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Why is a flight recorder called a "black box" even when it's painted bright orange? My latest for +The Wall Street Journalhttp://bit.ly/blackboxbz
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Yooper, a term for a resident of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, is entering Merriam-Webster's Dictionary after years of lobbying. My latest for +The Wall Street Journalhttp://bit.ly/yooperbz
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Today the Vocabulary.com app joined the App Store's "Best New Apps" and made the top featured spot in both Education and Reference! http://vocabulary.com/app/
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"Canary in a coal mine," from lively metaphor to tired cliche in a century of use. My latest for +The Wall Street Journal: http://bit.ly/canarybz
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Nice (and deep) work!  Thanks to Ben Zimmer!

http://t.co/Kw5yJ9SONB

#metaphor
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Given recent events in Egypt and Ukraine, it's a good time to consider the nature of the word coup. My latest for +The Wall Street Journal: http://on.wsj.com/coupsbz
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People
In his circles
393 people
Have him in circles
1,814 people
Bill Walsh's profile photo
Erin Brenner's profile photo
Work
Occupation
wordsmithery
Employment
  • The Wall St. Journal
    Word on the Street columnist, 2013 - present
  • Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus
    Executive producer, VisualThesaurus.com and Vocabulary.com, 2008 - present
  • The Boston Globe
    The Word columnist, 2011 - 2013
  • The New York Times
    On Language columnist, 2010 - 2011
  • Oxford University Press
    Editor, American dictionaries, 2006 - 2008
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Benjamin Zimmer
Story
Tagline
language columnist, linguist, lexicographer, word nerd
Introduction
I'm an all-around word nut. I'm executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and Vocabulary.com, language columnist for The Wall Street Journal, former columnist for The Boston Globe and The New York Times Magazine,Language Logger, and Chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society.
Bragging rights
I made this Indonesian palindrome: "Aku suka rajawali, bapak. Apabila wajar, aku suka." ("I like hawks, sir. When appropriate, I like them.")
Education
  • University of Chicago
  • Yale University