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Trying to Stay Relevant with an Aging Mind

Words and phrases that show your age. Uncool or rich in history and meaning? Now I’m too old to worry about whether I’m cool or not. Or is that too cool to worry about how old I am? I do know that it is still cool to use cool to mean something is, well, cool. It is one of the long-standing tidbits of slang that has lasted through multiple generations. Then again, that may not be true [...]

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By |2021-09-15T21:23:12+00:00September 15, 2021|English, Humor, Language, Phrases, Sayings, Words, Writing|

Making Our Points with Exclamations!

Exclamations should be used sparingly for impact. Get the point? I’m not big on exclamation points. I have to be exceedingly excited, angry or enthused to use them in my writing. You use such things sparingly for effect. And yet, as someone who edited many articles, commentaries and letters to the editor over the years, I’ve seen exclamations used so liberally it’s like the written form of shouting. You have undoubtedly seen correspondence, email and social media [...]

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By |2021-04-07T18:19:45+00:00April 7, 2021|Exclamations, Language, Punctuation, Sayings, Words|

Similes and Smiles from Classic Radio Scripts

When words sparked the visuals in listeners. I’m not driving around as much as usual. Maybe once a week we hit the road just to get away and, while we’re sheltering by vehicle, take a hike or stop to shop for necessities. That means I haven’t spent as much time listening to those classic radio shows on Sirius XM. I do have the app on my iPad, but I only use that sporadically for background noise while [...]

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By |2021-01-26T21:13:03+00:00January 26, 2021|Analogies, Humor, Language, Metaphors, Radio, Similes|

For Those with a Longing for Length

Looking at some legendarily long words that will give you writer’s cramp. I have to confess that the unrelenting, verging on overwhelming, abuses of political power have left me in a temporary state of dumbfoundedness. Now that’s a long word, unrecognized by my spell-checker and even in some dictionaries. But it is legitimate and means being dumbfounded or amazed to the point of being unresponsive, flabbergasted or gobsmacked. My spell-checker doesn’t recognize the last one either, but [...]

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By |2020-09-23T17:33:27+00:00September 23, 2020|Extremes, Language, Longest Words, Vocabulary, Words, Writing|

It’s Getting Tougher to Say what We Mean

Is that your head or someone’s misshapen big toe? Just one letter can change meaning. The political landscape is getting crazier and crazier, but is it crazy in a good or a bad way? Are facts important to you— such as the things people actually do and say— or do we really have the option of alternate facts? How about the alternative of optional facts? My recent blog about the overwhelming evangelical support for President Trump was [...]

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…and Now for a Few Hundred Words about Words

Words may be long, short, misleading, instructive, inspiring or denigrating. It’s time to take a break from current events for something that makes a little more sense. I will revisit a topic I’ve written more about over the years than anything else. I am referring, of course, to the fascinating English language. I don’t know where I’d be without it, even though I have abused, mistreated and even abandoned it on occasion. And yet I still love [...]

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By |2020-05-27T17:52:38+00:00May 27, 2020|English, Euphemisms, Language, Uncategorized, Vocabulary, Words|

Our Language Connects Us to Our Past

We say a lot of things without thinking much about them. And so it is with sayings and phrases we all use— many with ancient origins. A surprising number come from various translations of the Bible and, not so surprisingly, the Bard himself, Shakespeare. Some are regarded as clichés, but that only means that they are durable and we feel comfortable using them. There are so many of them that I can only randomly pick and choose my examples. [...]

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By |2016-06-08T14:43:27+00:00June 8, 2016|Bible, Euphemisms, Language, Sayings|
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