Words are Stupid, Words are Fun

Verbatim: From the Bawdy to the Sublime, the Best Writing on Language…
Erin McKean, ed.

In having their day, nerds have also demonstrated the mutability of language.

In my formative years, fueled by use of the word as a put-down on the top sitcom ‘Happy Days’, nerds were hopelessly clueless types, excellent students often obsessed with interests no other human being could Continue reading


Weeds, Words and Sustainability

Some tasks lend themselves to extended thinking. Swimming. Painting. And reclaiming my lawn. The latter is a task that’s been going on all summer and grabs my attention for several hours each weekend. I tend to do math while swimming laps. The bucolic nature of working beneath the pine trees puts me in a greener frame of mind.

Creeping Charlie

When we moved into the house my friend Viviane, the noted vegetarian food writer, took Continue reading

Exceptional Language

My friend Joan called to my attention a post by Paul Brians on the William James & Company blog. Brians takes as his subject the sometimes cavalier use of words by academics. Actually, that’s not quite fair and it’s worth reading the whole thing if only to check that my take away is right.

Brians notes some infamous examples of the language used in literary criticism.  He cites recent usage where the words chosen by academics Continue reading