Category: Words Worth Defending

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!
I’ve written before about my discomfort when people refer to “the holiday,” meaning whatever holiday is coming up or happening. But as soon as I turned on the radio this morning, July 4, I started hearing about “the holiday,” “the Fourth of July holiday weekend,” or just “happy Fourth of July.” Well, I can wish... Read more »

Words worth defending: stare decisis

Words worth defending: stare decisis
After Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe vs. Wade, I kept hearing mentions of an unfamiliar term, stare decisis. I had to look it up, but as usual, that’s a signal to me that a word or term needs defending — it needs to get out in the sun... Read more »

You stood on the lectern? Your balance beats mine!

You stood on the lectern? Your balance beats mine!
I was delighted when I checked the Grammar Rules posts at WritersDigest.com today. Robert Lee Brewer’s post featured three of my favorite furies among words worth defending: lectern, podium, and pulpit. While Brewer’s examples are clear and well worth reading, I’d like to expand on them by looking at the roots of the words. Lectern... Read more »
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Notebooks vs. computers

Notebooks vs. computers
I was determined to get started at my desk this morning. My computer wasn’t. It was offline, as many from two providers in different states were — according to the radio news I heard, when the radio station itself wasn’t cutting off the air every few minutes or running groups of commercials to make up... Read more »

Who is a word worth defending? Yes! Who!

Who is a word worth defending? Yes! Who!
I was talking to a friend, J.S., in a peer group we attend for help with our job-hunting. He said something that immediately struck me as an idea for Words Worth Defending: So many ads say that the company requires a person that has a particular degree or a number or years of experience. Whatever... Read more »

I couldn't care less that I've missed World Emoji Day

I couldn't care less that I've missed World Emoji Day
I’ve just settled down at my desk for a quick look over e-mail and social media. Several posts on Facebook refer to today, July 17, as World Emoji Day. The only way I want to observe it is to write about it in words. I don’t see anything to celebrate here. Anything I read about... Read more »
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Concurrences and dissents to verdicts on words by Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune

Concurrences and dissents to verdicts on words by Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune
(Note: I read Eric Zorn’s excellent column in the Chicago Tribune and enjoy his writing, even when I don’t agree with his opinions. On June 11, his column “Break up the ‘Southside’ and other verdicts on words” was particularly enjoyable. In the spirit of his court verdicts, I offer the following concurrences and dissents. Terms... Read more »

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 »
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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 »