Category Archives: Language

Go Ahead, Posse, Come At Us

I have a confession – I read romance books. Ideally, it is a great way to unwind and decompress, and clear your mind in the same way that only a Madonna tune can unstick a song from the brain. In terms of the written Happily Ever After, I’m not alone as a fan of the romance genre. Combined with erotica, this is the top selling genre in bookstores, both physical and online, with over $1.4 billion in sales in 2013. Sadly, these sales aren’t all going toward books written by alums of the Iowa Writers Workshop, or by the likes of Jennifer Crusie (MFA and ABD on her PhD), Julie James (JD, who has worked in the US Court of Appeals) or Lauren Willig (ABD on PhD at Harvard, JD at Harvard.) Continue reading

Word Nerd

A wish for 2016 – free the noun ‘creatives’ from its misuse of being synonymous with ‘artists.’ Emails referencing creatives vs non-creatives, or even addressed to “To my friends & acquaintances who are non-creatives” – what huh? and I’ve received these from multiple people –  have come across my desk fairly regularly in the last year.

To quote Indigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

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What we talk about when we talk about immigrants

Girls with Bubbles

One of these girls may create the next Google or Yahoo! But in the summertime, they’re just going to be children and play with bubbles in Buffalo, NY.

Migrant to some Americans conjures up a mental image of Jacob Riis’ How The Other Half Lives and that 10th grade English teacher who was passionate about Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men to a mental soundtrack of Woody Guthrie songs and a dry mouth in sympathy for the Dust Bowl. In the 1930s, economic and environmental conditions drove many farmers, tenant and independent, from the plains states to California in hopes that the arable land and mild climate there would provide work. Across the country at that time, unemployment hovered at 30 percent. Continue reading

Ay Caramba, I-Kiribati, Oy Vey

VOX recently published a map identifying the richest person and largest company in each European country. In The Netherlands and France, the richest person is a woman; Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken of Heineken breweries, the largest company and the world’s third largest brewery for the Dutch and for France,  L’Oreal and daughter of its founder, Liliane Bettencourt. In Ireland, these honors go to Palloonji Mistry, chairman of Shapoorji Pallonji Group. Continue reading

Qareful with your ps and qs

I was recently outed for the way I wrote a cursive Q. Cursive is a waning skill, as it is not part of the common core curriculum, and, thus, also on its way to becoming a class issue; If you know cursive you probably attended private, parochial school or a foreign school system. I went to parochial school during the learning-to-write period, and so, my uppercase Q’s resemble the child from a union between an upper case L and the number 2.   The bottom loops like an L, with an air pocket to the left and a flourish to the right. The top is the top of a 2, with the hook facing left instead of the right of an L hook. Continue reading

Amazeballs word noobs, especially for Scrabble-ites

The Friendly Anchorage off the bow of my recreational kayak.

The Friendly Anchorage off the bow of a recreational kayak.

Te, frenemie, bromance, selfie – those are just a few  among the plethora of new words added to the latest edition of Merriam Webster’s Official Scrabble Dictionary. Added to that, among the 5,000 new words, were those of the digital age, such as hashtag, vlog, texter and geocache. Geocahe was apparently big-brothered in by voters this spring. Just as an update, ok is still not ok.

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Frankly my dear, I dgaf

Even if you roll your eyes at the forced use of acronyms all around us, you might find DGAF really amusing/handy. DGAF as in “I DGAF about KIMYE, but a veil at your 17th wedding?” DGAF came across my email on a day when I saw OK (as well as o.k., okay and, annoyingly, k – because a two letter word is just too much to type) used as a superlative, an acceptance, and an indicator of a state that is nowhere near bad, horrible or dismal, but also a couple of exits away from ideal, perfect or peachy-keen. Its print presentation echoes the somewhat ambiguous existence. It is a compelling mash-up of O’s eternal rolling-alongness with the kinks and hard stops of K. Continue reading