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

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Word of the Day: expostulate

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

expostulate (verb)

To express strong disagreement or disapproval

"My liege, and madam, to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
What day is day, night night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time;
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief. Your noble son is mad...."
--William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 2, scene 2

Presidential debates: full of expostulation you could say. And you will.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Story Cubes 19: End Game (fiction)

"Rules! You can't move your rook diagonally!" he said.

"Oh right," I said, and instead moved the chess piece one measly square forward. "I'm more of a bridge player, actually." It was a fib. I hate playing games.

The old man looked up at me. "Bridge? Bleh!" he spat (not literally). "Checkmate!"

I wasn't sure if it really was checkmate, but his queen was threatening my king, so I let him have his victory. "Well played!" I said. As a volunteer at the nursing home, I didn't think it was my place to be disagreeable.

He waved his hand at me, as if to say it was nothing. "You need to shine your apple," he said.

I couldn't help noticing his pointy Adam's apple bobbing as he said it, and I suppressed a giggle. I had only a vague idea of what he meant, but I said, "Yep!"

I didn't like to think of him locked up in there, no family visitors, spending his days staring out of the window -- through the keyhole, so to speak. Not being able to sleep at night -- so the nurses said -- and watching for shooting stars.

"I'll see you next week," I said.

"If I'm here," he said.

"Come on, why wouldn't you be?"

"Checkmate", he said. Then he put his hand on top of his rook and moved it across the board -- diagonally.


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

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Word of the Day: Festinate

festinate [FESS-tih-nate] (adjective, verb) [TWITO, page 53]

To move or act at high speed; hasty

"Advise the duke, where you are going, to a most festinate preparation; we are bound to the like. Our posts shall be swift and intelligent betwixt us."
--William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act III, scene 7

My mom has a dusty old upright player piano in her basement. I took a few piano lessons as a kid and used to practice on it. But I never liked playing the piano. I always preferred to insert a piano roll and let the thing play itself. It wasn't electric, though; I had to do some festinate pumping of the foot pedals to make it make it play "Melancholy Baby" or some other tin pan alley hit at the proper speed.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Quote of the Day: David Foster Wallace

"A usage dictionary is one of the great bathroom books of all time."
--David Foster Wallace

I agree.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Word of the Day: ninnyhammer

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

ninnyhammer [NIN-ee-ham-er](noun) [TWITO, page 96]

A fool, simpleton or silly person

"You silly, awkward, illbred, country sow...have you no more manners than to rail at Hocus, that has saved that clodpated numskull'd ninnyhammer of yours from ruin, and all his family?"
--John Arbuthnot, "The History of John Bull" (1712)

Sometimes I think I’d have to be a ninnyhammer to collect all of these obscure words. I’ve been doing it for years, without a clear idea of what I would do with them. Then one day I realized I could collect them in a book, achieving fame and fortune. The rest is history.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Random Sequence: pajock

"For thou dost know, O Damon dear, This realm dismantled was Of Jove himself, and now reigns here A very very — pajock "
--William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act 3, scene 2

pajock (noun) = a peacock, or a vain person -- considered an ass.

Now you can call your least favorite athlete a "pajock". Or your least favorite politician....

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Random Sequence: Finical

"A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats, a base proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, fifthly-worsted-stocking knave; a lilly-livered, action-taking, whoreson glass-gazing super serviceable finical rogue, one-trunk-inheriting slave."
--William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act 2, Scene 2

finical (adjective) = finicky, fussy

When Shakespeare insults, he really insults, wielding his pen like a scimitar.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Random Sequence: Quiddities and Quillets

"There's another; why may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillets, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks?"
--William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act V, Scene 1

quiddities (noun,plural of quiddity) = quibbles, objections
quillets (noun, plural of quillet) = subtle distinctions

Lawyers -- always mincing words. Unlike me, of course....