Welcome to the Wordlady blog!

This blog is about the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language. I hope to entertain you and to help you with problems or just questions you might have with spelling and usage. I go beyond just stating what is right and what is wrong, and provide some history or some tips to help you remember. Is something puzzling you? Feel free to email me at wordlady.barber@gmail.com.
You can also order my best-selling books, Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to do With Pigs and Only in Canada You Say. Fun and informative!

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

A tip for teachers

Looking for something to spice up your classes, provide a warmup for ESL students, or a way to help you teach the history of the English language? Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to do With Pigs includes over 500 fun and fascinating word histories explained in a chatty, humorous, and accessible way. The words are organized thematically over the course of a year, so if Thanksgiving is coming up, you can find out why we call the bird a turkey if it's not from Turkey, or with the World Series on the horizon, you can find out that an umpire used to be a numpire (really!). There is also an index by language of origin, so if you're doing a unit on a particular culture, say India, you can easily find words that English borrowed from that culture (did you know "shampoo" was originally an Indian word?). You can order it directly from this blog!

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About Me

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.