I love words. It's kind of geeky, I know, but I really don't care. Without a decent vocabulary, the nuances and subtlties of every written and spoken art are lost. I don't just mean that dusty copy of Moby Dick sitting on your shelf somewhere that you never got around to reading. I mean classic and current literature, news, theatre, television and film. So I'm offering you one word or term everyday (or so) - that's my promise. What I won't guarantee is that your English professor will always approve of my choices. Language is everchanging. It is both the riverbed and the water flowing over it. We constantly add new words and give old words new meanings. I'll try to dip into a little of everthing and hope you join me.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Oh, you all know what it means - substitute stinketh for stinks. Voila. To give off an odor most foul. "... others say that he is dead, and that he stinketh ... to me, he doth not stink." I read that sentence last night and wondered why we don't add 'eth' to words more often. I think we should. I think we should also use the word 'doth' more often too. Indeed, this I thinketh. And as I thinketh, so I am. Or so I hear. (This she heareth.)

Monday, August 9, 2010


(Noun) 1. Harsh discordance of sound; dissonance. 2. A discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds.

What a word. It makes me think of the jumbled sounds of an orchestra warming up; each instrument doing its own thing perfectly but creating a horrible cacophony as a contrasting prelude to the organized piece to come. It also makes me think of that old 'Calgon' commercial where the housewife is bombarded with screaming children, the telephone, TV, vacuum cleaner, etc., until she screams "Calgon, take me away!", and is whisked off to a quiet, luxurious bath.

I live amid a constant cacophony - a mind-numbing symphony of noise. It sounds like children screeching, giggling and hooting; video games beeping, trilling, and endlessly playing the same four bars of tinny music; dogs barking, growling, and howling; modern 'conveniences' ringing, blaring, and humming. When I go to work my head clears of all the noise. I take in the sound of the wind in the trees and grasses, birds chirping (and bigger birds screeching as they dive bomb my dog - but that's another story. I digress.), water gurgling in a stream bed, big game crashing through the underbrush and calling to each other. Somehow by the time I get back home I can face the cacophonous onslaught again, wade through it to find my precious children and breathe the mountains into their noisy little souls.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Me. As in: I am an inconsistent blogger. There's your definition folks. I'm finding it incredibly difficult (substitute 'impossible' if you'd like) to sit at the computer for any stretch of time. SO, rather than giving you a new word / term every day or so, it's been - let's just say- ages.

Inconsistent - (adj) 1. Marked by incompatibility of elements (an inconsistent story - the facts don't 'add up') 2. Not in agreement with each other. 3. Not consistent in standards or behavior. Bingo. There I am. Always online, and then NEVER online.

So sorry. I'm fixin' to repent. Let's see how it goes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


(in sip id). Had a friend, had a band, called it Insipid Brown. From that day forward I have always thought of the two words together. They seem linked. If 'insipid' was a color it would be brown, not a rich chocolaty, gorgeous brown - a paper bag, blah, inconsequential, forgettable brown. (Aside from the fact that I'm pretty much in love with brown, insipid is a fitting partner for it . . .)

Definition - (adj.) 1. Without distinctive, interesting, or stimulating qualities; vapid:(There's a great word too, yum.) an insipid personality.

2.Without sufficient taste to pleasing, as in food or drink; bland.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Ah, what a fabulous word. Quite a mouthful. I'd give you the official pronunciation guide, alas I haven't font to pull that off. You'll have to settle for my own version.


AND, the definition:

1. Ascribing human form or attributes to a thing or being not human.

2. Resembling or made to resemble a human form.

I have a serious problem with this. Being an animal lover, I totally tend to think of animals as fuzzy humans. I assume they feel and think like we do all too often (which is anthropopathy - awesome variation, btw).

Most every fable is anthropomorphic, as well as most children's stories and movies. Who would've thought we could identify with ants, lions, bears, toys, robots, etc.? Give them human qualities, however, and we suddenly feel bad squashing the ants waltzing through our gardens (ok, not so true for me), or throwing out a toy we don't play with.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lose vs. Loose

Wow, does this ever bother me. I know it's an easy thing miss a double letter occassionally, but if you use the words often enough it becomes pretty obvious when it's a mistake and when you just think they're the same word.

So, unless you're talking about loosening the straps before tossing extra cargo out of a plane (or the like) you cannot loose weight. Your belt, however, may become loose if you lose a few extra pounds.

Lose - to come to be without. (Did you lose you mind? Are you a loser?)

Loose - free or released from fastening or attachment: a loose end. (The moose, the moose, the moose is on the loose.)

They sound different too, y'all.

Lose (luze). You snooze, you lose.

Loose (lus). Loosey-Goosey.

Please get it straight or we'll have to crown you the 'loosest loser' of them all. You don't want that, now. Do you?

Monday, May 31, 2010


Number one reason I like this word; some words are just fun to say. Try it, "schlep, schlep, schlep, schleppity, schlepped, schlepping, schlep". Does your face feel weird? If not you should say 'schlep' more. You may want to add a bit of a Jersey accent to it. Eventually your jaw will jut forward and your lower lip will curl out like you're pouting. You may actually begin to lisp out words like 'schweetheart', or quote the Godfather - but maybe that's just me.

Number two: I like it when slang words are used enough to 'arrive' and find themselves printed in the big book. (Not the Bible, people - that would be 'the good book', I'm talking about the Dictionary)

One meaning of 'schlep', to carry with great effort, was derived from the Yiddish word 'shlepn', (also fun to say) which means to pull or drag. As in, 'You better schlep your lazy self over here before I drag you myself".

Even better (I think, at least) is 'schlep' the noun; a person that is slow or awkward. For some reason I picture Cher palm-smacking Nicholas Cage on the forehead with a "What are ya-some-kind-of-schlep?" in Moonstruck. Although, that line doesn't exist, it fits the feel of the word for me. (And, yes, 'schlep' can also mean a long, tedious journey - but it's not nearly as entertaining as a good slap upside the head.)