Y Is for Y’all–Dictionary +: #atozchallenge

    Note: I wrote the following early on Saturday, April 27, Y-Day, but left posting until I returned from hearing La Boheme at Austin Opera. I got home later than expected, however, and forgot to post. When I remembered, it was already the 28th. I could have beaten myself up for fouling out of … Continue reading Y Is for Y’all–Dictionary +: #atozchallenge

Making Whoopee and Little Black Books

I'm a distractible adult. I wasn't a distractible child, but things change. I blame the Internet. Open it to check one thing, and I'm lost for hours. It's like a dictionary. You know how it is: you look up ablative and right below it you see ablative absolute, and before you can close the book, … Continue reading Making Whoopee and Little Black Books

“Use the right word . . . “: Mark Twain’s Mother

Mark Twain cared about words: Pa's boot with a couple of his toes leaking out of the front end; the sow lying in the middle of the street looking as happy as if she was on salary; and Miss Watson, a tolerable slim old maid, with goggles on. "The difference between the almost right word … Continue reading “Use the right word . . . “: Mark Twain’s Mother

Bani-shed!

Tybalt is gone, and Romeo banished; Romeo that kill'd him, he is banished. ~ Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, III.ii They are free men, but I am banished. And say'st thou yet that exile is not death? Hadst thou no poison mix'd, no sharp-ground knife, No sudden mean of death, though ne'er so mean, But "banished" … Continue reading Bani-shed!

Every Word Is a New Idea

"We say that our way of life was attacked on September 11. What we mean is that our words were attacked — our sauntering, freewheeling, raucous, stumbling, unbridled, unregulated, unorthodox words. All that we are in this country came out of words — 18th century words, 19th century words — which in turn wend their … Continue reading Every Word Is a New Idea

Select Tender Type or, Another Reason Literature Is Important

At HEB this afternoon, having verified that I had, indeed, spent my last sou on a cup of coffee at Waterloo Writers, I ran my credit card through the scanner. The resulting screen read, Select Tender Type. Tender. Such a formal, old-fashioned word for this new-fangled device. It reminded me of the scene in which … Continue reading Select Tender Type or, Another Reason Literature Is Important

Day 23: The most beautiful words

The most beautiful word in the English language is the compound word cellar door. J. R. R. Tolkien said that. I have no idea why. I'm partial to murmur and serendipity. A student once told me that hearing the word button just drove her up the wall. When I was about four years old, I … Continue reading Day 23: The most beautiful words