Category Archives: Language

Penultimate

Penultimate is one of my favorite words. It has a very rare combination. It’s fun to say. It’s fun to hear. And it has a cool meaning. It puts it in the same company as archipelago and onomatopoeia (Side note: I love the fact that onomatopoeia just might be the least onomatopoeic word there is). […]

Merry Christmas

There are lots of things I like about Christmas, as anyone who reads these December posts can tell. One thing in particular is the greeting, “Merry Christmas.” It’s the only time that I can think of that we wish other people to be merry and I like merriment. We don’t usually wish people to be […]

Tis the Season for Grammar Nerds

Self-proclaimed grammar nerds are a bit odd. They seem to enjoy being persnickety about the way people use language. Good for them. It’s nice that they can enjoy themselves. Some of their favorite issues are the misuse of “there,” “their,” and “they’re” or “your” and “you’re.” Personally I’m not even sure that they qualify as […]

Words Matter

I care about language. But, when it comes to language, I am very much a descriptivist rather than a prescriptivist. Basically that means that I don’t really care about how people should use language, I care about how people  do use language. If you want to use “literally” figuratively, go for it. I’m cool with […]

One Space or Two?

In November of 2017, I got a new job and it led to what felt to me like a major change in my writing. The new job has a one space after a period standard. Up until I took the job, I was a two space after a period kind of guy. Prior to November […]

What’s A Unit?

Today my daughter asked me what a calorie is.  I told her it was a unit of energy.  Then she asked me what a unit is.  I told her a unit is a single thing.  And she asked, “But what IS it?”  I was stumped.  So, I did what any parent would in this day […]

There’s Just No Word For It

According to the internet, there is no word in the English language for hating to be photographed.  That really surprises me.  It seems like such a common thing, how can there be no word for it?  I know I suffer from this affliction.  But every time I talk about it, I just say I hate […]