Tag: vocabulary

Unexpectedly Afoot

Once in a while, a TV commercial stays with me. More often than not, I’m sorry to admit, it’s because the commercial gets on my nerves.   When I tell you which commercial is annoying me the most these days, you might be surprised! I am a big fan of poetry, and one of my favorite American poets is Walt Whitman. So, you might … Read More Unexpectedly Afoot

A reminder to be mindful

I recently came across this short article in Time: a great reminder to dot i’s and cross t’s, with respect to vocabulary.

Create-a-Word Day

Over the past few days, we’ve thought a lot about new words that have been added to English through the years. So that we can make our own contributions (albeit unofficial contributions) to English vocabulary, I hereby decree that today is Create-a-Word Day! I challenge you to caption this photo, including in your caption at least one word that you create. It can be … Read More Create-a-Word Day

Playing with words

If William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, and the general public can invent words, why can’t you? You CAN! I most often notice the need for new words when I’m playing Words With Friends. Of course, my words might never officially be welcomed into the English language or into the pantheon of words accepted in Words With Friends or Scrabble; still, I don’t let that stop … Read More Playing with words

When English vocabulary isn’t adequate

The English language includes many fantastic words, and this is because of the efforts that millions of people have made over hundreds of years to express ideas clearly and creatively. When we compare our native language with other languages, though, we sometimes realize areas in which our native language could use some improvement. It’s hard to know what we’re missing if we don’t even … Read More When English vocabulary isn’t adequate

“He chortled in his joy”

We have the captioning permanently visible on our TV. It does get a little bit distracting sometimes, I’ll admit. But it also sometimes adds a fascinating dimension to my television-based diversion. Last week, I was watching “Who Wants to Be a Millionnaire.” A young man was considering the four choices before him. While pondering his options, he let out a low chuckle. If I … Read More “He chortled in his joy”

Shakespearean contributions

My students often explain to me that the reason that Shakespeare’s writing is somewhat challenging to understand is that he wrote in “Old English.” They are skeptical, incredulous, nay, even horrified when I tell them that he wrote not in Old English, nor even Middle English, but Modern English! Now, of course, Shakespeare’s Modern English was early Modern English—but it was Modern English, nonetheless. … Read More Shakespearean contributions