Category: Scottish words in English

My favorites for National Poetry Month

My favorites for National Poetry Month
With thanks to Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune, whose column for Sunday, April 11, listed parts of nine of her favorite poems, I’m joining in her celebration of National Poetry Month by listing at least part of ten of mine. (Catch up with the original column here.) I’ll include every word of the shorter... Read more »

What's Maundy Thursday?

I remember that when I was a little kid, days like today — Maundy Thursday — were confusing. There must have been more than one year when I heard it pronounced with worse-than-usual mushy Midwestern vowels and asked, “Why would we call it Monday Thursday? It’s Thursday!” That’s when my dad would remind me that... Read more »

Hey, March 20 is World Storytelling Day!

I ran across a reference to World Storytelling Day in a message from a Scottish-American group on Facebook. Lo and behold, it’s coming up on March 20. (I know, not much surprise after the headline, but what could I do?) But what else struck my attention is that March 20 is also the birthday of... Read more »
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The Beatitudes -- or The Happinesses?

The Beatitudes -- or The Happinesses?
I recently heard a sermon at my home church which mentioned the Beatitudes — the verses of the Sermon on the Mount which, in English translations from the the King James to the Revised Standard Version, begin “Blessed are…” various people for unexpected reasons. I struggled with my pastor’s interpretation of each of the blessings... Read more »

Talking of Michelangelo and other memories in the Imaginary Writers' Room (Eliot, Part Two!)

Talking of Michelangelo and other memories in the Imaginary Writers' Room (Eliot, Part Two!)
For part one of the arrival of T.S. Eliot in my Imaginary Writers’ Room, click here. With the affectionate thanks of the author to W.G. for helping to consider the committee and to A.W. for his Michelangelo comment on part one. “Who is it?” said Daphne du Maurier. “Oh, do not ask ‘Who is it?’ Let... Read more »

The Imaginary Writers' Room gains another poet

The Imaginary Writers' Room gains another poet
I walked into the Imaginary Writers’ Room, one of my favorite corners of my mind, with a bigger smile than usual on my face. It makes me happy to retreat there with my favorite inspiring writers, to talk about their work — and mine. But that night, I was arriving with happy news. “Sir Arthur,”... Read more »
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Looking for passing places as I walk

Looking for passing places as I walk
I realized something funny when I was taking a walk while doing laundry this afternoon: When someone approached, I caught myself looking for a passing place. I haven’t thought much about passing places since I was 12 and traveling in Scotland with my family, meeting Dad’s cousins and seeing part of the country. Especially in... Read more »

Time after time, what we get wrong about time

Time after time, what we get wrong about time
I’m laying aside The Chicago Manual of Style for now, although I may return to it later. My reading on most recent Fridays has included “The Essential List: The Week’s Best Stories,” an e-mail newsletter from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Today’s edition, under the usual subject heading FUTURE, has an article on “What we get... Read more »

'The Glencannon Omnibus' -- or 'My Fair Lady' Goes to Sea?

'The Glencannon Omnibus' -- or 'My Fair Lady' Goes to Sea?
I’ve had some laughs in recent weeks by reading one of my dad’s favorite books, “The Glencannon Omnibus” by Guy Gilpatric (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1942). I always knew it was one of Dad’s favorites — partly because I heard him chuckling over it when he re-read it; partly because he pointed out... Read more »
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Birthday time in the Imaginary Writers' Room

Birthday time in the Imaginary Writers' Room
Daphne du Maurier, Agatha Christie, Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Burns  gathered behind the closed door of the Imaginary Writers’ Room, one of the larger and more comfortable corners of my mind. “Where is he?” demanded Agatha. “Where’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? It’s his birthday, after all!” “Well, yes, by Margaret’s time,” said Stevenson. “It’s... Read more »