Category Archives: words

have a heart.

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“Dear Sidewalk People.”

That’s how 9-year-old Dahlia started her handwritten note placed under a rock along a city sidewalk hoping to get the attention of Ann Arbor’s crews slated to replace the slab she holds dear due to a distinctive feature.

This sidewalk has a heart.

“There is a heart in this block, and as me and my mom were walking home from school, we saw that there was an ‘R’ on the block that the heart is on,” reads the girl’s note, placed next to where she made a heart-shaped chalk outline around a small cavity in the slab the city has marked with an R to replace.

“You see, the heart is not just a heart,” wrote Dahlia, “Ever since I was little, I said hi to the heart. Don’t you see how much it means to me? Every time I pass the heart, I say hi and it brings me joy.”

Her father confirmed his daughter indeed says “hi, heart” every time she passes it. When she heard the city was going to replace the slab with the heart, Dahlia said she was devastated and cried.

“So can you please leave it or at least cut around the heart, for me to pick up on my way to school,” she wrote, ending her note by thanking the city’s repair crews for their work to keep sidewalks safe and encouraging them to give her note an extra read so it makes sense.

A spokesperson for the city’s public services unit did not have an immediate response on whether the sidewalk slab could be saved or whether the heart-shaped part could be salvaged for Dahlia to take.

While Dahlia really wanted to keep the heart sidewalk, her father said the family understands the need to fix it so people don’t trip and has talked with her about it.

“We compared it to the Halloween pumpkin she really loved and wanted to keep,” he said. “We told her we could keep it, but we could watch how when a pumpkin dies it helps nature by becoming part of something new.”

In that case, they put the pumpkin in their garden and Dahlia visited it every day and watched it decay, and in the spring she watched as flowers sprung up. She got to see her pumpkin again in the form of flowers.

As for her well-crafted sidewalk note, her father said while only 9, Dahlia is an amazing writer and gives him and his wife daily gems of wisdom worthy of the wisest, aged writers.

“sometimes the people who walk softly make the deepest impressions…” 

-nitya prakash

 

source credit: ryan stanton, mlive, ann arbor

“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.

Sponsor Message

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

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