Category: Words Worth Defending

Suddenly, 'gate' is a word worth defending

Suddenly, 'gate' is a word worth defending
I don’t question that words change; I simply question how they do. I notice when education and careful use tend to ignore particular words — when even basic words are threatened. When sloppy speakers and those who don’t care for words they use run into those who do care, such as your humble and Serious... Read more »

'The Story of English' -- The New Englishes

'The Story of English' -- The New Englishes
“The Story of English,” the book published to accompany a 1980s Public Broadcasting System series in the U.S., spent a chapter looking at “the new Englishes.” In this chapter, it’s not a case of showing how English has developed over time. In this case, it’s geography. I’ve been studying the chapter gradually because of its... Read more »

Me, myself and I -- and how to use them

Me, myself and I -- and how to use them
When you’re talking or writing about yourself and someone else are you careful about using “me” or “I”? If my ears and eyes are any indicators, few people are. So here’s an easy reminder of how to judge which one to use. It takes just a second to check. You’re going to a concert with... Read more »
Advertisement:

'The Story of English' -- The Mother Tongue

'The Story of English' -- The Mother Tongue
“From the beginning, English was a crafty hybrid, made in war and peace,” write Robert McCrum, William Cran and Robert MacNeil in Chapter Two of “The Story of English,” called “The Mother Tongue.” Invasions and cultural revolutions fed the development of English long before 1776 and American independence. In the eighteenth century, “a gifted amateur... Read more »

'The Story of English' -- Speaking of English (and why now)

'The Story of English' -- Speaking of English (and why now)
As promised, here’s part one of the series about the book “The Story of English.”  But I would be remiss if I went on with it without mentioning why I choose to stick with writing about words now. First of all, you expect it of me. But secondly, for those of you who think I... Read more »

An expression not worth defending: Background music

An expression not worth defending: Background music
Since I’ve had some dental work recently, I’ve had to be very careful about every sound coming out of my mouth. Some sounds will hurt, so I want to minimize that. That has meant something very unusual for me: avoiding music. I don’t want to sing along and hurt my jaw, or try to whistle... Read more »
Advertisement:

Four years of blogging is not incredible, and here's why

Four years of blogging is not incredible, and here's why
I began this blog on July 14, 2014 — coming up on four years ago. Due to some adventures in dental work, it’s been longer than usual between posts, so I’m going to observe the blog’s anniversary a few days early in the name of keeping in touch. Somebody’s likely to hear about my four... Read more »

'The holiday,' again -- say which one: Independence Day

'The holiday,' again -- say which one: Independence Day
Independence Day is here. I want to write and talk and hear about it as itself, not as “the holiday.” But that ‘s how I’m hearing and reading about it more and more often. As it approached, I kept hearing about “the Fourth of July holiday,” or just “the holiday period,” but not why we’re celebrating.... Read more »

Words that make me happy

Words that make me happy
With thanks to my friends and Chicago Now colleagues, Judy Marcus at Opinionated Woman and H. Van Howe at Pizza for Breakfast, I hereby present my own version of their lists of things that make them happy. (Their lists are linked to their blog titles.) True to the focus of this blog, I have selected... Read more »
Advertisement:

What keeps me up at night? That's too personal

What keeps me up at night? That's too personal
The challenge came on the Chicago Now Facebook page at 8 p.m. Central Time, as it does once a month for what we call Blogapalooz-Hour. We are to write and publish a post in one hour on a set theme. Tonight’s question, the first I’m free to participate in, is “What keeps you up at... Read more »