One Southern Word: Ratback

A few years ago, there was an upsurge of interest in “how to talk Southern”. You could buy books on the language, maybe listen to podcasts. They’d teach you things like the Southern definition of “ah”. In case you’ve forgotten, … Continue reading

Three Words: Another Think Coming (or is it “Thing”?)

Can common usage of a common word like “thing” be wrong — even when it’s grammatically correct? This question pesters people like me, worrying as we do about whether grammar “rules” should be prescriptive or descriptive. For some time lately, … Continue reading

Valentine Anagrams — 2017 Edition!

Happy Valentine’s Day 2017! To all our long-time readers, and to a host of new subscribers: We love you all! Today you’ll see plenty of heart-themed features in the mainstream media. They’ll tell you the history of Valentine’s Day. They’ll … Continue reading

Two Words: A & Apart

The word “a” has several notable features. It’s classified grammatically as an indefinite article. This means it refers to something of which there can be more than one. For example, we’d speak of “a” tall building because there are lots … Continue reading

Our 30th Ana(versary)gram!

I can’t let 2016 escape without noting that this was the year Cheri and I celebrated our 30th anniversary. Three adventure-filled decades ago, we committed ourselves to making our union “as a fortress for well-being and salvation”. That’s how Baha’u’llah … Continue reading

One Word: Antigram

An antigram is an expression formed by rearranging the letters of another expression to mean its opposite. For example, “fluster” rearranges to spell “restful”. Other classic examples: “listen” = “silent”; “antagonist” = “not against”; “earliest” = “arise late”. The word … Continue reading