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

What Our Jonquils Know About Climate Change

Earlier this month (February 2017) the outdoor temperature was 77 degrees F. Even in the previous month, January, the mercury often registered above 60 degrees — and rarely fell below high 40s to mid 50s. This in East Tennessee! When … 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

How to Fact-Check Gary Matthews (or Anyone Else)

One thing I love about today’s Internet is how easily you can fact-check anything I say. Don’t believe me about something? Fine! Fire up Google (or any other search engine). Type in the topic. Seconds later you’re studying it in … Continue reading