Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Brobdingnagian Splotch

Jupiter, brobdingnagian gasbag of the solar system, has a gargantuan red spot. And when I say gargantuan, I mean titanic. A few planets, including Earth, could spin within its roiling vortex, which, to me, looks irate. Yes, Zeus is livid, who knows why, but he confines his fury to a single splotch, a hurricane of ire, gigantic to us but a pinwheel to him, while clouds of happier thoughts glide by in serene bands. If only we could all have our own red spot, a mental whirligig to confine our churning agitation to, while peace reigns in the rest of our sphere.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Do We ALL Live in a Yellow Submarine?

Did you hear the appoggiatura in that song? (That's an ornamental note, related melodically to the main note.)


Are you watching the new Twin Peaks? Lots of gapeseed from Mr. Lynch. (gapeseed = an astonishing sight)


"Before his morning coffee, Winston was comatose; afterword, he was operose." (TWITO, page 103) To be "operose" is to be industrious.


A honeypot is not at all sweet! It's a decoy computer server designed to divert hackers.


You could find Northern Lights in a yellow submarine. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! (Northern Lights is a strain of marijuana, and a "yellow submarine" is slang for a joint.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Word of the Day: Is It a 'Ghoti' or Is It a 'Fish'?

ghoti [fish](noun)

Alternate spelling of "fish"

"'What's this on the menu?’ Jordan asked. 'It says Ghoti.' 'I think they mean fish,' Sheila replied. 'The chef is a bit pretentious.'" (TWITO, page 60)

"Ghoti" can be pronounced like "fish":

gh, pronounced like "f" as in tough;
o, pronounced like "i" as in women; and
ti, pronounced like "sh" as in nation

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Thunderation!

Be aware that in Japanese, "aware" means "the bittersweetness of a brief, fading moment of transcendent beauty".


Thunderation! Better to be a fopdoodle than a mumblecrust, right? All of those are historical curse words.


The paperback edition of my book isn't a dusty, moldering (seeming) "incunabulum" (TWITO, page 72) like the ones in this picture. And the Kindle and audiobook editions definitely are not: The Word I'm Thinking Of

(Technically, an "incunabulum" is a book printed before the 16th century.)

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Climate Isn't Just About the Weather

Climate isn't just about the weather. We have a mental and emotional climate too, and the atmosphere changes. Now we seem, at times, to live in an alternate universe, a cracked mirror world (yeah, "through the lookinglass") where thinkable thoughts include "off with her [his] head", Isis abdicates as an Egyptian goddess, and a killcow's crazy neologisms ("covfefe"?) presage a rising, inchoate tempest. Have you read the news today? Oh, boy.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Whodunit?

Do you prefer a "whodunit", a "howdunit", or a "howdhecatchem"? Those are all words associated with mystery stories. So is "gumshoe", another word for a detective. I've always wanted to write a detective story about a "gumshoe" whose favorite album is Rubber Soul.


So the word "artichoke" comes from the Arabic "al-khurshoof"? Gesundheit, I say!


Spy vs. phylactologist? A "phylactologist" is another word for a spy. (Coined by novelist Kingsley Amis in his 1966 book The Anti-Death League.)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: All You Need Is "Felechazo"?

Go here, there, and everywhere, thanks to "holoportation". That's virtual teleporting via 3-D videocams.


"Parlous" means full of risk or danger -- like in a cliffhanger.


All you need is..."felechazo"? It refers to being struck by Cupid's arrow -- in Spanish.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Silly "Wabbit"?

Why toddle when you can "shoggle" or "warple"? Both are old-fashioned words for precarious ambling.


Is your dossier full of "kompromat"? That's a Russian word for information gathered for the purpose of blackmailing someone. Could be a useful word someday soon.


Is your rabbit "wabbit"? It means exhausted or sickly.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Talking to Ed about Trumpcare

Mr. Ed: Whoa, Wilburrr. You have a pre-existing condition?

Wilbur: Yes, I do.

Mr. Ed: I'm a bit surprised. What is it, Wilburrr?

Wilbur: Don't YOU know?

Mr. Ed: Neigh!

Wilbur: I'm talking to you aren't I? It's a mental health condition.

Mr. Ed: Can't you see a doctor about that, Wilburrrr? So you can be more...stable?

Wilbur: Not with Trumpcare. Not if the state gets a waiver to eliminate mental health coverage. I would have to pony up for it myself. I don't want to be saddled with that!

Mr. Ed: What a nightmare. But I'll be your shrink, Wilburrrr.

I guess you'll have to be, Ed.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Firenado!

Here's wishing you a cwtch. Don't you just love those Welsh words that have no vowels? (It means a hug.)


No, "sharknado" is not an actual weather word. Aren't you glad? But firenado is. That's a vortex that rises from a fire, carrying smoke and flame.


If you don't want to call it a lie, you can at least describe it as twistical (meaning inclined to twist the truth).


Let's use more interjections, dagnabbit!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts

Are you a "pochemuchka" (someone who asks too many questions)? Forget I asked!


You may think my blog is "floccinaucinihilipilification" (meaning worthless -- TWITO, page 55), but I don't.


Lord Cardigan led the Charge of the Light Brigade, but now he's known for a cozy sweater.


"Misodoctakleidist" (TWITO, page 89) means someone who hates practicing the piano. "Like me," I would have said at age 8.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Connecting the Dots: Trumpisms

Donald Trump keeps saying "I will tell you this" before he tells us something. I take it as an admonition to engage my skepticism. But maybe I should preface my own portentous utterances with a similar throat-clearing mini prologue, in case I say something stupid -- a fair warning. Something like "Let me say this about that" (another unpopular president's favorite preamble) or just "now hear this!"