Articles written by: Howard Richler

The Word Nerd: Feminist organized first Mother’s Day in 1908
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The Word Nerd: Feminist organized first Mother’s Day in 1908

Thanks to the efforts of American Ann Jarvis, Mother’s Day began as a way of honouring the sacrifices Mothers made for their children.

The Word Nerd: Deconstructing austerity, which once meant stormy weather
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The Word Nerd: Deconstructing austerity, which once meant stormy weather

Austerity — a much despised term. Judging by the manner the word is ejaculated by some people, you’d get the impression ‘austerity’ represents a form of financial waterboarding.

Chess pieces by David Lapetina - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11164358
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The Word Nerd: How Persian words were bequeathed to anglos

The time is ripe to take stock of the western world’s debt to the Persian language.

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The Word Nerd: Indian spice flavours today’s English

India is second only to the U.S. in the number of English speakers, with 125 million, or 10 per cent of its population, speaking the language of Shakespeare.

Word Nerd: We are a distinct society after all
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Word Nerd: We are a distinct society after all

The Oxford Companion to the English Language is missing an “s” at the end of its title.

Word Nerd: Deconstructing Political ED (Electile Dysfunction)
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Word Nerd: Deconstructing Political ED (Electile Dysfunction)

On August 2 the writ was dropped in Canada. … Actually, no writ is dropped; writs of election are issued.

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Word Nerd: OED is for lovers — language lovers

The online edition of the Oxford English Dictionary affords word lovers a myriad of ways to explore the English language.

Word Nerd: English is flooded with words from away
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Word Nerd: English is flooded with words from away

Alas, because language is in a constant state of flux, a lexicographer’s work is never done. The first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), replete with 414,825 words, was completed in 1928 and ceremonial presentations were made to President Calvin Coolidge and His Majesty King George V. Supplements ensued […]

Word Nerd: Expressions we love to hate
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Word Nerd: Expressions we love to hate

Think outside the box. The tip of the iceberg. At the end of the day …

Word Nerd: Orange you glad it’s not called red?
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Word Nerd: Orange you glad it’s not called red?

Dedicated readers of the Word Nerd column might remember that five years ago I explained that, lexicographically, at least, there is no debate that the egg preceded the chicken.