Category: Words Worth Defending

Recuse: a Word Worth Defending for the Best Posts lists

Recuse: a Word Worth Defending for the Best Posts lists
Regular readers (and fellow bloggers) will have noticed long before this that I am now the editor of the monthly Best Posts lists for Chicago Now. Yet I’m not about to stop writing, and one post I wrote did appear on the February 2021 list. I left that post on the list for February because... Read more »

How to change your 'gruntlement'

How to change your 'gruntlement'
During my job search — which is a long way to say “recently” — I’ve found a kindred spirit on LinkedIn,com. The Grammar Girl column there, which features all sorts of “quick and dirty tips,” has a recent post here headlined “Don’t worry, be gruntled.” Guest author Bonnie Trenga credits P.G. Wodehouse, one of the... Read more »

Get rid of 'expeditiously' -- quickly!

I’m listening to the news on the radio, and I just heard Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot say what needed to be done — and done “expeditiously.” Madam Mayor, with that word, you lost my attention completely. A minute after I was eager to hear what you said on the topic, your careless extra-large word wrecked... Read more »
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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 »

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 »

Conversations about Lincoln statues? Yes, but let's keep them all anyway!

Updated to replace deleted copy and add image. The recent controversy caused by a list of 41 public statues in Chicago — a list produced by the Chicago Monuments Project, part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration — was meant to cause conversation among Chicagoans about whether to keep the statues or get rid of them,... Read more »
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The Bible verse that's puzzling me during the pandemic

The Bible verse that's puzzling me during the pandemic
There is one verse in the New Testament of the Bible that puzzles me these days — more than others, and in a way it didn’t before last March. I ran across it during this morning’s reading, so I can cite it and write about it without the large amount of hunting that I’d have... Read more »

Defending a word, as is my wont

Defending a word, as is my wont
Our old chambers had been left unchanged through the supervision of Mycroft Holmes and the immediate care of Mrs. Hudson. As I entered I saw, it is true, an unwonted tidiness, but the old landmarks were all in their place. There were the chemical corner and the acid-stained, deal-topped table. There upon a shelf was... Read more »

Positivity is a bad thing -- Mr. Orwell, call your office

Positivity is a bad thing -- Mr. Orwell, call your office
You’ve got to accentuate the positive Eliminate the negative And latch on to the affirmative Don’t mess with mister in-between — from the song “Accentuate the Positive” by John Mercer and Harold Arlen The U.S. is facing a new round of shutdowns because of the novel coronavirus… the virus, for short. More than 225,000 people... Read more »
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'If ye break faith with us, who die/We shall not sleep'

Thumbnail image for ''If ye break faith with us, who die/We shall not sleep''
I’m not going to be able to forget the autumn of 2018, when I was asked to read the poem “In Flanders Fields” as part of a concert at my home church. I had practiced for a long time before I found the attached video of Dame Helen Mirren reading it for the centennial of... Read more »