Archive for January 2016

Is our violent vocabulary the root of other problems?

Is our violent vocabulary the root of other problems?
When a child has a tantrum and starts hitting, throwing things and/or breaking anything in sight, a parent is asked (or advised) to say to the child “Use your words.” Words convey ideas better than violence, of course. But think of the ways ordinary conversation uses violent images: “He really walloped that ball.” “It’s great... Read more »

The modern-day phone booth: Home

The modern-day phone booth: Home
After all of the end-of-year stories on predictions for the future — the actual future and/or the predictions that didn’t work out — I found myself waiting for a phone call. I realized that there was a “prediction story” I hadn’t read — so here it is. In the early 21st century, phone booths will... Read more »

Would you like a word worth defending? I'll tell you presently

Would you like a word worth defending? I'll tell you presently
When you write something in present tense in English, the verb does all the work determining the time. You go, and when the trip’s over, you have gone. So why, why do writers keep trying to “presently go” places or do other things “presently” when they are using present-tense verbs? Presently is not even meant... Read more »
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Serious questions for the new year 2016

Serious questions for the new year 2016
Isn’t it easier to talk about “this year” and “last year” than to say “2016” and “2015” and have to repeat yourself because sixteen and fifteen sound so similar? On the other hand, isn’t it a pain in the neck in January to have to be so careful about “next year” sayings? On a very... Read more »

Feeling younger -- waiting for quiz results (HINT!)

Feeling younger -- waiting for quiz results (HINT!)
(The following is inspired by the recent work of my fellow Chicago Now blogger, Aquinas Wired, whose Chicago Now blog The Quark in the Road recently featured a quiz on Christmas carols. He kindly mentioned getting the idea from my recent post on Christmas carols with Words Worth Defending.) There isn’t much (yet) which can make me... Read more »