Word Matters

Word Matters

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Word Matters is a show for readers, writers, and anyone who ever loved their English class. Join Merriam-Webster editors as they challenge supposed grammar rules, reveal the surprising origins behind words, tackle common questions, and generally geek out about the beautiful nightmare that is language.

Wait, shouldn’t every dictionary be a learner’s dictionary? Technically, sure. But today we’re discussing a specific resource: Merriam-Webster’s Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary, which was designed and written directly for people coming to English from another language. Here’s the story of that book and how it changed how our other definitions were written.

Recent Episodes

  • 38. What Is a Learner's Dictionary?

    3 days ago
  • 37. Can You End a Sentence with a Preposition?

    1 week ago
  • 36. On Jane Austen's Use of 'Condescension'

    2 weeks ago
  • 35. 'Fewer' vs. 'Less'

    3 weeks ago
  • 34. What Is a 'Retronym'?

    1 month ago
  • 33. Tracing the Origins of Famous Phrases

    1 month ago
  • 32. The Story of the Backward Index

    2 months ago
  • 31. Why Is It Called an 'Adam's Apple'?

    2 months ago
  • 30. How We Wrote Our Bilingual Dictionaries

    2 months ago
  • 29. There Is No Such Thing as "The Dictionary"

    2 months ago