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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.
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New words: Of Pickles and Patent Trolls

Google..has been pressing Washington for legal reform to dissuade so-called "patent trolls", companies that exist only to sue others over intellectual property claims.
Toronto Star 5 Apr. 2011, B1/4

The earliest use of this seems to be about 2004.

Pickleball is a scaled-down combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. With its smaller court, low net, paddle and holey plastic ball, it's particularly appealing to older, slower bodies. Picklers pay the township $1 each to play and provide their own equipment...Pickleball..got its name from Pickles, a co-inventor's dog who chased whiffleballs during family games.
Toronto Star 5 Apr. 2011, GT1/4

Google Books has the following quotation from 1975:
Susan Frohnmayer, women's program coordinator ..leads an exercise class beside the pickleball court.
Fortune Mag. vol. 92

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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.