Those of us who are unable to look away from our televisions or newspapers (or phones) have no doubt been as inundated as I have been with news about Trump and Did He or Didn’t He. If Rachel Maddow wasn’t so interesting, I’d be hopelessly out of date, because she’s one of the few I… Continue reading Collusion collision
For the past couple of months, I’ve written about some of my favorite words and their distractions. Today I want to marvel at our lingua franca more generally. Last week I nattered on about cliché and stereotype, and how they both came from the French and that cliché meant the same thing as stereotype: a… Continue reading Serendipitously rite—er, right
Remember the 1984 movie Repo Man? Remember plate of shrimp? The theory espoused in the movie is that if you think about a plate of shrimp, or anything else, suddenly you’ll see and hear about it everywhere. Lately everyone around me seems to be talking about clichés and stereotypes. We use the two words very… Continue reading Stereotypical cliché
My partner and I were driving home from Burlington the other day when she started to muse about the signs alongside the road, signs put up by the state. There’s the usual here-comes-your-exit signs. There’s the solar-lighted LED signs telling us there’s road construction ahead; expect little to no delay. And then there are the… Continue reading Frosty Icing
While walking across the yard the other day to fetch the mail, I was struck by the abundance of clover in the lawn. I’ve seen clover my entire life, but not this kind: the leaves were as big as quarters, and they made sturdy bunches mounded higher than the budding grass. This made me look… Continue reading Lion’s Teeth and 56 Leaves
All of the talk in the past few months about the so-called Muslim ban and the attempts to ostracize Muslims in the U.S. got me thinking about that word, ostracize. No matter where you come down on the issue, the word ostracize has a fascinating history. In the fifth century B.C., Athenians had a chance… Continue reading Symbols of Ostracism
Recently, I took on a volunteer task of tracking alumni from my high school class for our upcoming reunion. A great deal of work had been done by my predecessor, and I was given a list of 255 alums for whom we had at least an email address, with 35 missing and 45 deceased. My… Continue reading Re-member?
So I’m still stuck on infants, which I blathered on about a few weeks ago. The newbies, Max and Ellie, are doing well and are scheduled to go home very soon. That means that suddenly my niece and her husband will be responsible for the swaddling done by the NICU nurses until now. Swaddling, as… Continue reading Zealous diapers
Exciting news from the State of Maine. The Oxford comma is required by law. Now, knowing me, you know that that excites me for two reasons: I love all things Maine, and I love the Oxford comma. You’re probably familiar with Maine (at the very least, you can find it on a map), but you… Continue reading Commas and windfalls
The birth of my great-niece and great-nephew makes me ponder infants, etymologically speaking.