Friday, November 24, 2017

Christmas Gift Idea

"A dictionary makes a great Christmas gift."
--Unknown (possibly Noah Webster)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Parabolic Avocation (microfiction)

Parabolic Avocation

"You're a soprano warbler," I see, said Edwin. "I mean... I hear."

"This again? That's just farcical perverseness", said Enid. "You know I'm alto."

"Nope, soprano," said Ed. "No needful capitulation from me."

"Pugnacious imbecility," Enid warbled.

"Wiggly grayness," Ed said.

"What?" said Enid.

"Test phrase. Try singing that phrase in your highest register."

"Wigglyyy graaaynesssss," Enid sang. "Oh this is barefaced imbecility," she said.

"No, soprano," Ed insisted. "You can do better than that."

"Now we're wandering into sterotypical happenstance," Enid said. "We've been all through this before."

"You could break a glass with that voice," said Ed, with circumscribed garrulousness.

Enid laughed. "I could try. My Baccarat crystal stemware? Would you drop this if I can't do it? Or fix it if I can?

"Cohesive epoxy, right here," said Ed, opening a drawer.

"Your obsession with always being right is a parabolic avocation," Enid sighed, raising the nearest glass.

It was the one Ed had already sabotaged with a hairline crack.

[not to be continued]

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Is Your Dragon "Epouventable"?

Is your dragon "epouventable"(frightful)?

You could ask your "deipnosophist" (excellent dinner-table conversationist) to pass the "attic salt" (incisive wit).

My father had a "go-devil", but it wasn't a ghost (as this phrase sometimes means); it was a tool for splitting wood.

What's your opinion of "ultracrepidarians" (those who offer uninformed opinions)?


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Word of the Day: SYLVESTRAL

Word of the Day: sylvestral [SYL-vess-truhl] (adjective), TWITO, page 144. Pertaining to trees. "Xavier, lost in a thicket, was nevertheless awed by the sylvestral beauty of the canopy overhead."

Photo by me!

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Much Ado About Nothing? Archaeologists Discover Mysterious Void Deep Within the Great Pyramid

A monolithic cenotaph of stone hides another enigmatic void. Even a 4,500-year old secret can't stay hidden from the prying sensors of cosmic rays ("muons") that can slice through five million tons of masonry like penetrating thoughts. What sleeps in the stale, absolute dark inside? A desiccated corpse dreaming away the centuries? If so, this isn't at all the afterlife that some pharaoh's wife or courtier expected. No supermen with the bodies of lions, no dog-headed deities pointing to an Elysium along the Nile. Just online fame, curious clickers, salivating for the glint of a golden sarcophagus, avoiding their horror vacui, resisting a vague kenophobia over a void that may, in fact, be a big and very old nothing.

Archaeologists Discover Mysterious Void Deep Within the Great Pyramid of Giza

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Word of the Day: RADIOLARIAN

Word of the Day: radiolarian. Radiolarians are microscopic, single-celled organisms that live in the ocean and have intricate skeletons.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Pianissimo Famine (microfiction)

Pianissimo Famine

"I'm a little tired of this macrobiotic library of comestibles," said a cautious Nat as he poured Serena a glass of Gewurztraminer wine. He was famished after a week of seemingly nothing but her kitchen repertoire of quinoa and lentils. "Can't we have some real food?"

"Real food? Stop nagging. We can take a break from our pianissimo famine, if that's how you think of it. It was only an experiment," said Serena. He could see she was disappointed in him.

"I have an unexplored urge for a seaboard repast," suggested Nat -- though what he really craved was a Big Mac infused with cheese. "With a contemporaneous herring," he added.

"And maybe some portentous sauce to go with it?" she queried.

"Sarcasm! But...yes! And a vinaigrette opportunity."

"Fish and a salad..." Serena mused. "You do realize that both can be prepared and consumed without straying from our macrobiotic meal plan?"

"Whatever. Just please include some dessert, honey," said Nat.

"Honey for dessert? I just happen to have a delicious jar of unimaginable local honey," Serena said. "But we'll have to think of something to spread it on."

"Toast?" Nat suggested.

"To us!" Serena said, smiling superciliously as she raised her glass.

Nat realized it was going to be a long and ravenous evening.

[Not to be continued]

Saturday, September 02, 2017

A Grandiloquent Parrot?

I've been reading the novel Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes. It's full of unusual words that I'm compiling into a list. Here they are below, with parts of speech and meanings. I wonder if someone could teach a parrot to say these words?

indurate (verb: harden)

propinquity (noun: proximity, close kinship)

eulogium (noun: eulogy)

orchidaceous (adjective: like an orchid)

ipsophagy (noun [neologism]: the eating of bear meat)

execration (noun form of execrate: to curse, abhor, damn, denounce)

glabrous (adjective hairless)

crepuscular (adjective: dim, like twilight)

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Effervescent Kleptomania (microfiction)

Composer Elias Auchenshuggle was hard at work on "Tangier Bongo", his latest commercial jingle, intended to make snackers hanker after some kind of "psychopathic" (he thought) pre-packaged fondue. The balky synthesizer was giving him trouble, though, as it occasionally spit out random wheezes and burps, like a drunken calliope. Finally, however, the soaring crescendo he was after emerged with kingliest intensification. "Ahh", he whispered. "All I need now is a sample from some old disco diva's middle eight." After much consideration and fiddling with his M-Audio Torq MixLab Digital DJ System, it turned out to be a bouncy quote from "Get Dancin'," by Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes. Elias spliced it in, proud of his effervescent kleptomania, which latterly helped to increase fondue sales by 500 percent -- pleasing his corporate overlords no end.

[not to be continued]

Wandering Word Thoughts: "Oh, you knuckylbonyard!"

"Then my leg fell asleep, so I made ambitious circles with my feet, like a nervous orangutan, to cure my obdormition." (TWITO, page 99) It's a fancy way of saying one of your limbs fell asleep.

Why call someone a knucklehead when you can call him a "knuckylbonyard"? Means the same thing, but you'll get eloquence points.

Here's a conversation starter: Try telling someone they're a "snoutfair" today, and see how that goes. It refers to someone's charming and handsome appearance, with a hint of the devilish.

"floccinaucinihilipilification" (TWITO, page 55) is one of the longest (non-scientific) words in the dictionary. Say it 10 times fast! It means the judgement of something as worthless -- a real nothing -- like, for example, a penny. Almost.

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.)