Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Link Mania: An Abominable It Boy Sniffs Petrichor

20 words that originated in the 1920s

Would you "Adam and Eve" it if an abominable snowman got a makeover, did some press ups, and became an It boy?


38 wonderful foreign words we could use in English

Goldilocks was Swedish?


15 underused words to add to your vocabulary

Including "petrichor" [PET-rik-ur] -- TWITO, page 111!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Random Sequence

"Will decided to let his exhaustion show on his face. Sandy, who seemed as energetic as ever, walked over to him, shook her blonde head, and said, 'I guess it's break time.' They descended to the street and began to walk toward a fizzing neon sign in the distance: 'Zarraro's Diner.' It smelled like fried onions inside, but at least it was cool."
--from "The Burden" (by me), originally published by

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Word of the Day: diegesis

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

diegesis [die-uh-JEE-sis] (noun) diegetic [die-uh-JET-ik] (adjective)

A narrative; in film studies, the fictional world, milieu, or universe in which the story takes place

"'We're going to have to add some diegetic harpsichord to make that damn scene work,' the director mumbled."

That music you hear while watching TV or a film, which the characters in the story don't hear, serves a diegetic purpose: to tell you what you should be feeling or how you should interpret a scene on an emotional level. But you already knew that, right? Queue the wah-wah.


TWITO, page 41!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Photo of the Week (by me)


Mother Mary comes to me. (And I'm not even Catholic.) Click for a closer view. You know you want to.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Words in the News: intubate

At a press conference about the recent mass stabbing at a Pennsylvania high school, the doctor mentioned intubation and the word intubate [IN-too-bait]. It means to insert a tube into someone. (Don't try this at home.) A synonym is "cannulate" or "cannulise". A cannula [CAN-yoo-la] is a flexible tube.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Words in the News (Flight 370): chirp

CNN (aka the "Mystery of Flight 370" network) says the missing plane's black box is pinging but also "chirping". It's not just for the birds. "Chirp" is a technical term for a signal.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Word of the Day: infrangible

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

infrangible [in-FRAN-ji-bul] (adjective)

Unbreakable; not violated

"Hearts will never be practical until they can be made infrangible," said the Wizard. The Tin Man was riveted, but could only say, "Huh?"


TWITO, page 72!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Brain Dump

cheshire cat

A little girl -- let's call her Alice -- dreams of a mixture of kingdoms, both real and waxen. But poisoning the dream is a false sense of clarity without a subject or activity. She remains suspended between willful imagination and unconscious capacity, conjuring a slumberland of shifting montage. As a sleepwalker, she struggles to keep her head from rolling off her shoulders.

Her drowse deepens, enabling her to see the unseeable as she becomes more and more lost within her fusion of archetypes and phantasms. The dream is one-way, spiraling faster and faster through contradiction after contradiction, until confusion approaches totality and all movement stops. All length is distended. Small, colorful moths hover like elements of a Calder mobile around her head. Alice struggles to recall the single word that would shatter this mirror. Could it be... applesauce?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Word of the Day: whilom

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

whilom [WY-lum] (adjective)


"Natalia was astonished to see Bernardo, her whilom inamorato, perambulating down the street--the last person she wanted to see. She quickly hid behind a convenient pot of shrubbery."


TWITO, page 161!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Random Sequence

It was Wednesday, almost seven o'clock, still rush hour, and the honking taxis and endless flow of faces -- all different, all equally vacant -- was starting to annoy him. It was also hot, and the faint, summer-in-Manhattan smell of rotting garbage made him feel woozy. He was standing outside a fancy Upper West Side seafood restaurant called The Deep, feeling conspicuous in his soggy button-down shirt. As usual, he'd misjudged the transit time and arrived early....
--from "The Burden" (by me), originally published in