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Ben Zimmer
Works at The Wall St. Journal
Attended University of Chicago
1,945 followers|468,239 views
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My latest column for the +Wall Street Journal is on the backlash against "plus-size," a fashion term with roots in the '20s. http://bit.ly/plusbz #droptheplus
The backlash against “plus-size” is the latest wrinkle in the history of a term that dates back to the flapper era of the 1920s.
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Controversy over Eddie Redmayne's portrayal in "The Danish Girl" puts a spotlight on the term "cisgender." My latest for the +Wall Street Journal: http://bit.ly/cisbz
“Cisgender” and its variants are proliferating as sex-reassignment issues become more popular on cultural websites and pages.
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How "stylus" became a not-so-stylish word in the tech world. My latest for the +Wall Street Journal​: http://bit.ly/stylusbz
The makers of a new breed of smartphones and tablets are reinventing the stylus—but avoiding the word.
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Why do economists talk about "secular stagnation"? The many paths of the word "secular" in my latest for the +Wall Street Journal​: http://bit.ly/secularbz
From Roman times, the word ‘secular’ developed to become a word with diverse meanings for clerics and economists.
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The word "sniper" has a long uneasy history, going back to colonial India. My latest for the +Wall Street Journal: http://bit.ly/sniperbz
Debates swirling around Clint Eastwood’s film “American Sniper” reflect the long development of the word ‘sniper’ from hunting and colonial India
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WOTY goodness on p. 1 of today's NYT Styles section.
A dispatch from the place where the nation’s most well-regarded grammarians, etymologists and language enthusiasts gather to talk shop.
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How "unicorn" became a less-than-magical label for billion-dollar startups. My latest for the +Wall Street Journal: http://bit.ly/unicornbz (If paywalled, Google for headline.)
The term unicorn used to refer to magical beasts. How did it come to describe a herd of young Silicon Valley companies?
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Heads up! My latest column for the +Wall Street Journal​ is on the military and baseball origins of the "heads-up" warning. http://bit.ly/headsupbz
The term “heads up,” used in recent tensions over Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, originated in the military and baseball.
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A new GOP breed: the "reformocon" (or is it "reformicon"?). My latest for the +Wall Street Journal: http://bit.ly/reformocon
A new word is describing reform-minded conservatives—‘reformocon,’ or ‘reformicon’—but people are disagreeing how to spell it.
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I've got a proposition for you. The history of the "prop bet," Super Bowl and otherwise, in my latest +Wall Street Journal column: http://bit.ly/propbz
For almost 200 years, prop bets have offered wagers ranging from election details to the hair color of Super Bowl halftime artists
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My latest +Wall Street Journal is on the so-old-it's-new slang term salty. http://bit.ly/saltybz
The American Dialect Society picks its Most Likely to Succeed word
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It's a fool's errand trying to predict which new words will catch on in 2015. But hey, let's try. My latest for the +Wall Street Journal: http://bit.ly/newwordsbz
Ben Zimmer surveys candidates for the words we’ll be saying in 2015, from “textruption” to “oxt weekend” to “honkenbonkers.”
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Have him in circles
1,945 people
killian linde's profile photo
leonna vicoria's profile photo
Nasi Lemak Bersinar's profile photo
Berdo Chonillo's profile photo
Edward Banatt's profile photo
Tim Stone's profile photo
hengyuan zhang's profile photo
Gale Holdren's profile photo
Mark Mandel's profile photo
Work
Occupation
wordsmithery
Employment
  • The Wall St. Journal
    Word on the Street columnist, 2013 - present
  • Thinkmap
    Executive editor, Vocabulary.com and VisualThesaurus.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 executive editor of Vocabulary.com and the Visual Thesaurus, 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