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Columns from 1995 to 2006 are slowly being added to the above archives. For the moment, they can best be found by using the Search box at the top of this column.


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Welcome to The Word Detective

Or, more properly, welcome to The New Word Detective. You’re looking at the first substantial change in our format since we started publishing on the web way back in 1995. True, back in ’97 we bowed to popular demand and eliminated the <blink> tags. But this month marks the beginning of our transition to a WordPress-based content management system.

With this new system,

  • you’ll be able to comment directly on columns, rather than sending me email no one else ever sees;
  • you’ll be able to comment on other readers’ comments;
  • you’ll be able to subscribe to postings here by RSS, and
  • your hair will be thicker and silky-soft.

It will also make it infinitely easier for me to post columns, which will make it at least somewhat more likely that I will actually do so.

The downside is that I have been cranking out plain-vanilla HTML for the past thirteen years, and that means that I will have to eventually repost 2,250 columns from the old site (15 years of writing x ~150 columns per year). I wish I had the money to outsource this task, but I don’t.

In any case, it’s going to take some time. So for the moment (ha), the old site will coexist with the new and is accessible via the Old Archives link in the left sidebar. If you follow that link and get a bit disoriented, just click the “Main” link at the bottom of the page and you’ll end up right back here. Maybe. If you see an “Error 404″ page, just click the Home link on that, and you’ll be fine. I ought to be charging admission for this ride.

By the way, this new circus replaces the Word Detective Annex project, the columns and comments of which have been carried over to this location.

Actual adorable TWD kittenLastly, we depend, as always, but more so than usual at the moment, on your generous contributions in order to continue. Please consider supporting this site and the vast herds of adorable animals (actual adorable TWD kitten shown) who labor behind the scenes by becoming a subscriber. Subscribers receive the columns via email at the same time newspapers do, usually at least 1-2 months before they are posted here, and can also immediately read and comment on them in the “subscriber content” area of this site (found in the drop-down Categories menu in the right sidebar). And now, on with the show….