Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Link Mania: Can I have an 'umbeclap'? And some 'dilithium'?

11 Words for Fictional Substances
Including "dilithium", which may not be quite as fictional as everyone thinks.

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The inventive words and worlds of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft
Is your poetry "poeish", "poe-like", "poe-esque", or "poeist"?

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14 ways to hug
...or at least to say hug. Ask someone you love if you can have an "umbeclap" today. And after getting the umbeclap, take penicillin.

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56 synonyms for "talkative person"
Parakeet? They forgot "blabbermouth" and "motormouth".

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Random Sequence: swoopstake

"Good Laertes,
If you desire to know the certainty
Of your dear father's death, is't writ in your revenge,
That, swoopstake, you will draw both friend and foe,
Winner and loser?"
--William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, scene 5

swoopstake (adverb) = indiscriminately, without distinctions

I want to work this word into conversation and then savor all the puzzled faces.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Photo of the Week: Winter Is Here (by me)

Winter is here
This is the rock pile in my backyard. Don't ask me why I have a rock pile in my backyard, but click on the pic for a closer view. You know you want to.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Word of the Day: mooncalf

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

mooncalf [MOON-kaf] (noun) [TWITO, page 90]

A freak or monster; a fool, a daydreamer

"Instead of a purse or a bubble, which incloses the foetus, there was a globulous body like a moon-calf, or false-conception, which contained nothing organized, and which being opened presented nothing different from a moon-calf, nothing that was any way formed or regularly disposed...."
--Anonymous, "On the Formation of a Chicken in the Egg" in London Magazine (1752)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Fiction Repeat: "Diastolic Boisterousness"

It was time for another holiday dinner at the Brinkerhoff manse. Young Spencer, the black sheep of the family, was not looking forward to it. His father was a fishing boat captain and had no respect at all for Spencer's profession -- that of dictionary editor.

As the family sat down to a repast of brazed sailfish and checkered chitlings, the patriarch began to deliver his traditional rodomontade, which, as usual, was filled with imbecilic windiness. No one paid much attention, though. Spencer's comely sister, Adelia, exhibited her usual luminescent lassitude, with her chin planted firmly on her palm. His long-suffering mother, Philida, simply stared into the tureen of mashed potatoes.

Spencer, who fancied himself the Brinkerhoff's closest approximation to an upscale cutup, decided he'd had enough of his father's complaints about the fluctuating price of flounder. "I dig a sorrel pintaloosa!" he suddenly shouted, though he wasn't sure why. They were words he had been working on for the new edition of the dictionary, and they had simply come to him. His father halted in mid sentence and glared menacingly. Spencer was sure he had sounded like an adenoidal landlubber engaging in undignified ebullition to everyone at the table.

"What? What kind of fish is that?" Captain Brinkerhoff demanded. "It's not a fish!" replied Spencer. "Look it uuuupppp!" he bellowed, pounding the table with what he intended to be a raffish drub.

His diastolic boisterousness had the intended effect. His mother and sister began to giggle, nervously at first, then uncontrollably. And Captain Brinkerhoff was uncharacteristically silent for the duration of the feast.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Photo of the Week: Bricks (by me)

patio moss and bricks

Because moss. In December. Click for a closer view. You have nothing better to do.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Random Sequence: oppugnancy

"Take but degree away, untune that string,
And, hark, what discord follows! each thing meets
In mere oppugnancy: the bounded waters
Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores
And make a sop of all this solid globe...."
--William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act 1, Scene 3

oppugnancy (noun) = contrariness, opposition, antagonism

Our politics today is full of oppugnancy. But wasn't it always?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Link Mania: This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism....

23 Perfect Words For Emotions You Never Realised Anyone Else Felt
Oh, so I could call it "jouska".

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20 Latin Phrases You Should Be Using
"Barba non facit philosophum" -- I should tape this to my bathroom mirror. And let's all start slipping "Carthago delenda est" into our conversations.

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Merriam-Webster announced their pick for the 2015 Word of the Year, and for the first time, the winner isn’t an entire word; it's a suffix
Absurdism? "This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism
All we are saying is give peace a chance."

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26 Beatnik Slang Words and Phrases We Should All Start Using
Interview your brains and focus your audio! Reading TWITO will keep your claws sharp. And this list may help you to know your groceries, slang slingers.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Photo of the Week: Lonely Tree (by me)

lonely tree - reaching for the sky
This aint no Christmas tree. Click for a closer view. You know you want to....

Monday, December 14, 2015

Word of the Day: distichous

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

distichous [dis-ti-kuss] (adjective) [TWITO, page 42]

Divided into two parts or two rows

"His eyes? Nor pen nor camera can present them. Imagine a black pearl imprisoning a diamond; imagine a dewdrop trembling on polished jet; add to these beauties life, and you will have the dormouse eye. His tail? Distichous, say the books. Feathers are mostly distichous, hair-partings are distichous, the moustache is distichous. So is the dormouse tail; but the hairs along it do more than merely part. They curl, upwards from the root, downwards to the point, and form a plume."
--Douglas English, Wee Tim'rous Beasties (1903)

(photo by me)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Story Cubes 13: Gurgle (fiction)


I stood on the bridge, ready to drop my phone into the river.

I wouldn't regret losing the contacts, but I would miss the photos. So many faces, some cheerful, some gloomy. There was Henry, with a light bulb in his hand, illustrating a joke: "How many millennials does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

There was Evie (with Adam), from Halloween, in her flesh-tone tights and caressing an apple -- Adam and Eve.

And then there was the image of my own eye -- an extreme close-up with a tear in the corner. The one I sent to my false friends. The ones who turned me in. The ones I didn't want to know anymore, now that I was out of the slammer. Now that I was starting over.

The phone made a soft splash and sank out of sight. But just before it disappeared, I heard a gurgle. It was ringing....

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