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.)

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

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

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

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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".

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Wilbur:
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.)

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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.



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

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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!

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

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

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"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!"