Best of the Planet Word Blog 2017

Planet Word made great strides in 2017! We found our future home, the beautiful Franklin School, and hired a fantastic team of exhibit designers to help us fill it with the wonder of words. And, as we wait for construction to begin, our website has helped us get a head start on our mission: to inspire a love of words and language. From interviews with lexicographers to advice from a crossword puzzle pro, here are some of our favorite blog posts from 2017.



Erin McKean: My Five Favorite Words

Back in January, lexicographer and Wordnik founder Erin McKean introduced us to some obscure, exciting, and intriguing words. Want to know what a semordnilap is? And what on earth is a dord? Check out her blog post for these and more!



Pronunciation, Prestige, and Punchlines

Linguist, lecturer, and prolific author David Crystal gave us a taste of one of his latest titles, We Are Not Amused, as he answered some questions about accents and pronunciation as sources of humor. Why exactly do we find accents so funny? Here’s his expert opinion!


Poetry in America

Poetry shouldn’t be the intimidating, unapproachable monolith it’s sometimes made out to be. So argued Harvard professor Lisa New, founder of the Poetry in America initiative. Read about how her classes, television specials, and teacher programs help make poetry accessible to all.


Exploring a World of Languages in Paris

Tucked away in the winding streets of Paris is a curious museum and a haven for language lovers. Take a look inside Mundolingua and hear from its founder, Mark Oremland.



Five Obscure(ish) Words for Crossword Puzzlers

New York Times puzzle master and enigmatologist Will Shortz helped us round out the year with some advice for crossword puzzle enthusiasts! Read his contribution to learn the five words you should know before tackling your next crossword puzzle.


We hope you’ve enjoyed keeping up with the blog so far! If there’s a word- or language-related story you think the Planet Word blog should share with its readers in the new year, or anyone you think we should interview, please drop us a word at connect@planetwordmuseum.org.