Monday, January 02, 2017

Word of the Day: boggler

What's the word I'm thinking of? Today, it's....

boggler (noun)

Someone who hesitates because of fear or doubt

"You have been a boggler ever:
But when we in our viciousness grow hard—
O misery on't !—the wise gods seel our eyes;
In our own filth drop our clear judgments; make us
Adore our errors; laugh at's, while we strut
To our confusion."
--William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, scene 13

To be or not to be? Isn't that the question, Will?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Story Cubes 21: Errant Arrow (fiction)

I was out in backyard, practicing archery again and ready to scream "bullseye!" for the thousandth time. But then my hand began to shake. The arrow went wild and missed the target -- and hit the beehive. "Shit!" I said. (You can quote me on that!) The bees started swarming. I ran around the corner of the house and fumbled for my key. I fished it out of my pocket just in time -- the bees were circling -- and ran in through the front door, slamming it just in time.

What the hell is wrong with me, I thought. My hands don't shake! I looked down at my fingers. Nothing unusual. Then I looked at my new watch, the one Miranda gave me. It had a tiny second dial that was impossible to read. The house was dark, so I got my flashlight and magnifying glass, placed the watch on the kitchen counter, and took a closer look at the dial. It was set to the time when I had told Miranda I'd be doing target practice. The watch had a secondary knob that controlled the smaller dial. I moved it to the current minute, and the watch began to vibrate -- hard. Seven on the wristband Richter scale, I'd say. After a few seconds, it stopped. So that was the watch's alarm feature, which Miranda hadn't mentioned.

Miranda! She was trying to sabotage me, wanting me to shoot arrows in all directions, in any direction except toward the bullseye. To break my record of hitting it almost every time. To destroy my confidence. And all because that errant arrow on my first day of archery practice had killed her cat.


(This is prompted writing. I interpreted the bold-faced words from the images on Rory's Story Cubes)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Word of the Day: emolument

What's the word I'm thinking of? Today, it's....

emolument (noun)

profit or fees from holding an office or employment; compensation for services rendered

"We have no account, from any comtemporary writer, that the printers were sworn servants to the crown, or that his Majesty received the price and emolument for printing books."
--J. Johnson, Typographia, Or, The Printers' Instructor (1824)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Quote of the Day: Christmas Gift Idea

"A dictionary makes a great Christmas gift."
--Unknown (possibly Noah Webster)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Word of the Day: kakistocracy

What's the word I'm thinking of? Today, it's....

kakistocracy [kak-ih-STOK-ris-see] (noun) TWITO, page 79

Government by the worst, least qualified or most unprincipled

"Is ours a government of the people, by the people, for the people, or a kakistocracy rather, for the benefit of knaves at the cost of fools?"
--James Russell Lowell, “Letter to Joel Benton” (1876)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Word of the Day: bastinado

What's the word I'm thinking of? Today, it's....

bastinado (noun)

Punishment that involves caning the soles of someone's feet.

"I will deal in poison with thee, or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy with thee in faction; I will o'errun thee with policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways: therefore tremble and depart."
--William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act V, Scene I

After that election, there are several people who could use a bastinado.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Word of the Day: trundle-tail

What's the word I'm thinking of? Today, it's....

trundle-tail (noun)

A dog with a curly tail

"Be thy mouth or black or white,
Tooth that poisons if it bite;
Mastiff, greyhound, mongrel grim, 50
Hound or spaniel, brach or lym;
Or bobtail tike or trundle-tail;
Tom will make them weep and wail:
For, with throwing thus my head,
Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled.
--William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act III, scene VI

Who let the trundle-tails out?

Monday, October 31, 2016

Story Cubes 20 / Random Sequence / Halloween

You wave your flashlight like a magic wand, and the kid's shadow becomes a monster on the wall. You make some popcorn and cook up a story for him about aliens building the pyramids. Are they around today, he asks? You say you think so. Aliens are always here, flitting around the skies in all directions. The key to seeing them is to get under the covers and count some sheep.

You can quote me on that.


(The bold-faced words are interpreted from the images on Rory's Story Cubes)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Link Mania: Coffee Words

A list of Coffee words

Climb every mountain
Ford every stream
Follow every rainbow
'Till you find your "bilita mpash"
16 weird and wonderful words we really need emojis for :)

What's your favorite antediluvian word? I like "mooncalf" (TWITO, page 90). Archaic words

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Two FREE Kindle E-books

Fire up your e-readers! My two Kindle editions on Amazon are FREE from October 12th through October 16th. A funny dictionary and a scary story -- what a combination! Both have 4.5-star ratings (out of 5) on Amazon.

The Word I'm Thinking Of
The Iron Box