Category: Humor

Are Two r‘s One Too Many?

Posted on Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at 3:45 pm

Here we are, in the month that’s hard to spell and harder to pronounce. Every year I grit my teeth listening to the bizarre ways people mangle “February.” The culprit is that first r. Most people just ignore it and say “Feb-yoo-ary.” The 2006 American Heritage dictionary has a “Usage Note” at “February” that made …

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Resolutions for Word Nerds

Posted on Tuesday, January 6, 2015, at 4:01 pm

Below you’ll find ten New Year’s resolutions for self-appointed guardians of the English language. We are a group that needs its own code of ethics to protect us from ourselves and shield others from our self-righteousness. So let’s get right to … The Stickler’s Ten Commandments 1) No using big words to intimidate. You can’t beat …

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2014 Christmas ’Log Review

Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2014, at 12:07 am

Have you noticed that Christmas is in the air? I started noticing in October, when I received my first Christmas catalog eleven days before the start of the World Series. New ones have been arriving ever since, filled with gift ideas so remarkable that I just can’t keep them to myself. The Hammacher Schlemmer catalog, replete with …

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Wisdom of Yogi Berra

Posted on Sunday, April 6, 2014, at 9:48 am

April means major-league baseball is back, so I want to talk about Yogi Berra, who played for the New York Yankees from 1946 to ’63, when they were perennial World Series champs. His name is familiar to everyone. He has given the culture more memorable epigrams than have some of our most esteemed wits. I …

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Cheap Talk Can Cost You

Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at 6:50 pm

A word nerd’s burden: someone said to me, “I guess I can’t say anything around you.” It was a lighthearted remark … I hope. Saying is far different from writing, and the spoken word deserves a lot more leniency. I don’t want people to think I go around rating everyone’s conversational acumen, waiting to pounce. …

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