World’s Strangest

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Jazz Allergy

Daniel Koren, whose heads (yes, plural) have been featured on Neatorama many times before, is back with "Jazz Allergy." If summertime has got you snifflin’ and sneezin’ away, this one’s for you: Hit play [...]

J.R.R. Tolkien Invented the Pluralization "Dwarves"

Tolkien, in addition to establishing the genre of modern fantasy (I’ve just had a lengthy discussion with my English major wife about the legitimacy of this attribution), also created the word “dwarves” as a plural form of “dwarf”. Tolkien explains why in one appendix to LOTR: It may be observed that in this book as in [...]

The Royal or Editorial "We"

Ben Zimmer has an article at The New York Times addressing a person using the word “we”, sometimes referred to as “the royal we”, when speaking or writing. When it’s not clear who the person is speaking for, it can sound downright pompous. A New York senator, Roscoe Conkling, once said, “Yes, I have noticed [...]