Category Archives: words

“even if not one person read my blog, i’d still write it every day.” -seth godin

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(a happy note from WP yesterday)

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

You registered on WordPress.com 11 years ago.

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

 thanks to all who have taken this flight with me

11 years in the blink of an eye

faster than the speed of write. 

“even at eleven, he had observed that things turned out right a ridiculous amount of time.”

-stephen king

 

 

banished.

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When was the last time you called someone a GOAT? Or declared an “inflection point,” or answered a yes-or-no question with “absolutely”?

Probably too recently, say the faculty of Lake Superior State University, the Michigan college that releases an annual list of words that they say deserve to be “banished” from our vocabularies over “misuse, overuse and uselessness.”

“Our nominators insisted, and our Arts and Letters faculty judges concurred, that to decree the Banished Words List 2023 as the GOAT is tantamount to gaslighting. Does that make sense?” said Rodney S. Hanley, the university’s president. “Irregardless, moving forward, it is what it is: an absolutely amazing inflection point of purposeless and ineptitude that overtakes so many mouths and fingers,” Hanley added.

Here’s the full list of the school’s banished words for this year:

  1. GOAT
  2. Inflection point
  3. Quiet quitting
  4. Gaslighting
  5. Moving forward
  6. Amazing
  7. Does that make sense?
  8. Irregardless
  9. Absolutely
  10. It is what it is

Out of over 1,500 nominations — from people across the U.S. and as far afield as New Zealand and Namibia — judges declared that this year’s top offender was “GOAT,” the acronym for “greatest of all time.”

Nominators and faculty alike found the term objectionable due both to its impossibility – how can anyone declare a single best of all time when another may come along in the future – and the liberal way the title is dispensed these days.

“The singularity of ‘greatest of all time’ cannot happen, no way, no how. And instead of being selectively administered, it’s readily conferred,” said Peter Szatmary, a spokesperson for Lake State.

Lake State’s faculty judges would likely argue that was too many people (and non-people) described as “the greatest of all time.” “Words and terms matter. Or at least they should,” Szatmary said.

Joining “GOAT” in banishment are nine other words and phrases that nominators and judges complained were used so often that they had become disconnected from their literal meanings – like “amazing,” which nominators fretted no longer meant “dazzling” or “awe-inspiring.”

“Not everything is amazing; and when you think about it, very little is,” one nominator noted.

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Frequently targeted are of-the-moment phrases like “in these uncertain times” (as so many COVID-related messages began in 2020), “information superhighway” (banished in 1995) and “filmed before a live studio audience” (such a vice it was banished twice, first in 1987 then again in 1990).

“the flowery style is not unsuitable to public speeches or addresses, which amount only to compliment.

the lighter beauties are in their place when there is nothing more solid to say;

but the flowery style ought to be banished from a pleading, a sermon, or a didactic work.

-voltaire

 

credits: npr, becky sullivan, image, christopher furlong, getty images

crabwise.

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not olive, but she walks like this sometimes.

is it a crab? is it a cat? what is it doing?

CRABWISE!

KRAB-wiyz

Part of speech: adverb

Origin: English, 20th century

Definition: To, toward, or from the side, typically in an awkward way.

Examples in a sentence:

“Roberto moved crabwise without taking his eyes off the dodgeball.”

“My cat only moves crabwise if she knows I’m going to try to give her a pill.”

“some things cannot be changed. you cannot teach a crab to walk straight.”

-aristophanes

 

aha!

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yesterday was my favorite day of the week for crosswords

sunday paper delivered at home

weekend puzzle inside

waiting to challenge me

my personal process may include

a tiny bit (iota) of cursing (*&@^) at times

until that ‘aha’ (eureka moment) arrives.

word of the day:

cruciverbalist

cru-sih-Ver-be-list

part of speech: noun

origin: american english, mid 1970s

definition: a person who enjoys or is skilled at crosswords.

example in a sentence:

“my mother, the cruciverbalist, still receives the daily newspaper so she can solve the crossword with her pen.”

“just got excited at a crossword clue that was ‘cheese lovers’ and was like ooh,

there’s a name for people like me it turns out it was: mice.

-word porn

one of my fav films

these are my people.

 

huh?

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The word “huh” packs a lot of meaning into just one syllable. When we use it, we might be expressing confusion, asking for clarification, or requesting that a statement be repeated. We’re also communicating so concisely there’s hardly a break in the conversation, making “huh” the politest kind of interruption.

No wonder, then, that the word “huh” appears in multiple languages. In fact, according to a recent study in the journal PLOS ONE, linguists have found that the word is used to express confusion not only in related language families, but across multiple, independently developed languages. The researchers, who recently won an Ig Nobel Prize honoring their study, argued that “huh?” is so common it may actually be universal.

According to New York Magazine,  the researchers studied conversational use of the word “huh” in 10 different languages, including English, Icelandic, Murrinh-Patha (from Australia), and Cha’palaa (from Ecuador). Though these languages don’t share an origin, they still employ “huh” in much the same way.

The researchers believe that the widespread use of the word “huh” is an example of convergent evolution. In each language, “huh” developed independently, but was shaped by similar environmental or linguistic pressures—for example, the need for a relatively polite way to signal confusion. According to the study, the word “fulfills a crucial need shared by all languages –the efficient signaling of problems of hearing and understanding.”

“Huh” is not an innate human sound, like a grunt or emotional cry, the researchers say. Rather, it’s learned, taught to children, and passed down linguistically from generation to generation. According to researchers, its universality is a result of its important conversational function. Most of us probably take the word “huh” for granted—or don’t even think of it as a word at all—but according to researchers, that’s exactly why it’s so important: It doesn’t draw attention to itself.

 

“before I came here I was confused about this subject.

having listened to your lecture I am still confused. but on a higher level.”

-enrico fermi

 

 

 

Source Credit: New York Magazine, Photo credit: Animal Channel

 

 

 

animal planet

wobbly.

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when i stopped by my favorite coney island restaurant to pick up a giant greek salad

(in detroit, coney dogs and greek food under one roof are a restaurant tradition)

something on their monday special sign stuck out

while the words ‘coney island’ were displayed on 3 signs all around it

and coney island is a part of the restaurant’s name

the special somehow became ‘cony‘ dog monday.

i know how hard it is to be your own editor

and i am easily amused

but it just struck me as really funny

that no one noticed

 it’s the most popular item they sell.

“my spelling is wobbly. it’s good spelling but it wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.”

-A. A. Milne

the history of how you felt.

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 loving my new journals and so looking forward to filling them

 

“language allows us to reach out to people, to touch them with our innermost fears, hopes, disappointments, victories.

to reach out to people we’ll never meet.

it’s the greatest legacy you could ever leave your children or your loved ones:

the history of how you felt.”

-simon van booy

 

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