Two long, six short:
The elegantly designed Lexicalist, which calls itself "a demographic dictionary of modern American English," is the most edifying time-waster you'll encounter this month. The creation of David Bamman, a researcher in computational linguistics and natural language processing at Tufts University, Lexicalist "reads through the web to find out who's talking about what." You can discover the relative popularity of a word: For example, Lexicalist tells me that people are talking about "Twitter" 13 percent more today than they were a month ago. You can find out the geographical distribution of a slang term (check out the hella map). Or you can see which parts of the country are talking about specific topics. Have fun! (UPDATE: Read a Language Log guest post by David Bamman about using Twitter to map the demographics of American English.)
Writers, editors, and publishers have two definitions for style. It can mean a set of rules that a publication follows ("house style") or a distinctive authorial voice. (For more, read my a 2007 post, "Style vs. Style.") There are many "house styles," known primarily by their acronyms: AP, CMoS, APA. Now Mary Beth Protomastro, who edits founding editor* of the Copyediting newsletter, has created Online Stylebooks "to help copy editors (including herself) quickly consult a variety of style guides." This is useful news for anyone plying a scribely trade, but it was received with something less than enthusiasm over at Language Log, which belongs to the "let a thousand usages bloom" school of descriptivist editing. "I'm not saying that having a house style is a bad thing, or arguing against it," shrugged Language Logger Mark Liberman, "I'm just sightly puzzled about why people care that all the articles in notable publication X should hyphenate and abbreviate according to one set of rules, while all the articles in esteemed publication Y consistently do it a different way." Your own opinions are welcome in Comments here.
And the short takes:
The best television commercial ever. (Kottke)
Vanity Googling helps copywriter land a job. (AdFreak)
A bazillion airline logos that incorporate stylized birds. (Logo Design Love, via Kottke.)
The history of the "Dude." (Mark Peters in Good magazine)
Open Dictionary is a more reliable, cleaner Urban Dictionary. (Lifehacker, via Karen Wise.)
* Thanks to Mark Allen for reminding me that Wendalyn Nichols is Copyediting's current editor.