hot links

Got a few minutes? Feel like learning something about English words or usage? Check out these awesome Merriam-Webster videos. They also have vocabulary quizzes—come on, you know you want to…

This article in the Economist is a great read, especially if you are a typography fan.

Look again: here are 20 logos with hidden symbolism that will make you say, “Ohhhhhh….”

There’s just something about these pictures…the photography is beautiful, and the whole thing is kind of a cultural memento mori.

Amongst friends… Do you say “amongst” instead of “among”? This article by English professor and author Ben Yagoda poses some ideas as to why that might be the case. If you Google “amongst” you will come upon an online skirmish over this, but Oxford says there’s really no difference. Personally, I think people use it as a handy combination of “among” and “amidst.”

Lorem ipsum… Who knew this “greeking” text actually means something in Latin?

You say tomato… I took a highly unscientific poll at the office about how people say coupon; turns out about half of us say “koo-pon,” the other half say “kyoo-pon,” and nobody really knows why. English-language vocabulary and pronunciations are heavily regional, depending not only on where you’re living now but where you and your family came from. PhD statistics candidate Joshua Katz has published a set of 122 heat maps that show regional word usage and pronunciation. This page shows you 22 of them and gives you a link at the bottom to see all of the maps. The research itself was done by Professor Bert Vaux of Cambridge University; FWIW I think Brits say “koo-pon.”

Speaking of British English (BE) versus American English (AE)…there are many lists like this but it’s nice to have the pictures.