Category Archives: Language

Taste and Colors

I often say that there are only six colors: blue, green, red, yellow, orange, and purple. You wouldn’t think so, but this upsets a lot of people. On the low end, people will point to a box of 64 crayons. Others say there are infinite colors. If you count black, white, and gray (not really […]

Privilege

Ugh. Make it make sense! Challenge accepted. What are you talking about? I’m going to make it make sense. Picture this: They gathered in the conference room with the usual chit-chat. The project manager closed the door bringing everyone to attention. “Big news, everyone. Big news. We got a new job. The K Boys were […]

Adventures In Parenting – Bad Words

I’ve recently had two interesting conversations with my daughter about bad words. I’m going to tell you about the second one first. She was watching YouTube. I wasn’t really paying attention until my daughter said, “She’s going to get demonetized.” I looked up and asked why. My daughter said, “She just said shiitake mushroom. YouTube […]

What Are We Really Saying?

Eric Schwitzgebel wrote a recent blog post called Love Is Love, and Slogans Need a Context of Examples. The post makes the point stated in its title. Slogans, taken on their own, are mostly meaningless. If you took someone with no knowledge of the fight for marriage equality in the US, and said to them, […]

Connections

The song Levon, by Elton John (@eltonofficial) and Bernie Taupin (#bernietaupin), opens with the line: Levon wears his war wound like a crown He calls his child Jesus ‘Cause he likes the name And he sends him to the finest school in town Then, there’s a line in Elton John’s and Bernie Taupin’s song Tiny […]

Just

For a year now, people have been telling me that COVID is not just the flu. That’s how they always say it, “just the flu.” I always think to myself, “Just?” Used that way, “just” implies that the flu is no big deal. “Meh, it’s only the flu.” According to prevention magazine, millions of people […]

Trump and Truth

This sign recently appeared in one of my neighbor’s yards: I don’t know these neighbors. And, seeing as they’re Trump supporters, I have no interest in getting to know them. Normally, I wouldn’t notice a campaign sign at all. I don’t generally take political advice from cardboard signs. It’s not clever or humorous or insightful. […]

Philosophy Phridays – Tense and Aspect

Philosophy Phridays is a series where each Friday, I go to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, click on “random entry,” and then write about whatever comes up. This week’s random entry is Tense and Aspect. As someone who tutors English and frequently works with students for whom English is a second language, I find myself […]

Nieces, Nephews, Aunts, and Uncles

A little while ago, my brother pointed something out to me. He has two nieces and one nephew, but no way to refer to them as a collective. When talking about his brothers’ kids, he always has to say, “Nieces and nephew.” I had never thought of it until he mentioned it, but he’s right. […]

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). […]