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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|

Remembering Words We Seldom Use Anymore

Words come and go as the years go by. One of the great things about being young— as in late adolescence and well into the vague parameters of young adulthood— is you get to make up your own language and toss words and expressions your parents and grandparents are fond of onto the scrapheap. Words like scrapheap, for instance. I explored that subject a few years back in a newspaper column entitled: “Outliving a Big Chunk of [...]

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By |2021-06-17T20:24:44+00:00June 17, 2021|Pop Culture, Vocabulary, 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|

A Man of Letters Fools Around with Acronyms

Digging up a growing glossary of acronyms. We are flooded with a sea of acronyms, which are essentially language shortcuts. They may be organizations or expressions that we know pretty well and are usually comprised of the first letters of most of the key words used, often excluding the definite (“the”) and indefinite (“a” and “an”) articles that tie them together. That’s why most of us say or write NASA and not National Aeronautics and Space Administration. [...]

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By |2021-02-24T19:58:03+00:00February 24, 2021|Acronyms, Names, Uncategorized, Vocabulary, 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|

Contemplating Names and Other Words

What’s in a name? Skill Unlimited or Limited Skill? Let me just say that it is sort of cool when your last name is actually a word that means something. It’s not so impressive with first names, because your parents may have anointed you with a moniker that is a noun, verb or adjective like, say, Spring, Messiah, Chastity, Bear, Crash, Harmony, Heaven or (and this is no joke) Earwacker. Some of those names might be setting [...]

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