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In one of my essays for one of my seminars when I was getting my PhD, I wrote something about “ramifications accruing.” The professor, Laurence Senelick, wrote a comment there: “Can ramifications (branches) accrue?” 585 more words

Word Tasting Notes


I live aloft, not in a loft apartment but in a lofty one: three times three times three floors above the pavement. I’ll often look up to my window as I approach from the street, and when I am up in my apartment I’ll often look up from the same window at still taller buildings nearby. 514 more words

Word Tasting Notes

turn the other cheek

OK, this isn’t a word. It’s a phrase. But it’s a phrase that can serve as an excellent illustration of the value of historical research and awareness of cultural context. 1,446 more words

Word Tasting Notes


I have been known to take a tipple or two. A quick quaff. A wee dram. A shot of hooch, a bit of booze, a tiny toddy, a sip of the sauce. 738 more words

Word Tasting Notes

fnarr fnarr

I challenge you to read today’s word and not snarf or snicker.

Oh. Too late?

What does fnarr fnarr look like it might be? You may be inclined to imagine that, notwithstanding its chortling appearance, it’s really the name of a fruit or other food, or perhaps a folk dance of some sort. 470 more words

Word Tasting Notes


“Oh, you’re here to install?” my coworker Amy said to our sysadmin today. “Great! I’m just gonna vamoose.”

Vamoose! Get out! It’s been like forever since I’ve heard that word. 371 more words

Word Tasting Notes


For me, there’s hardly a more western word than gulch. It immediately brings to mind pictures of cowboys on horses riding in – or towards – a deep dry ravine. 365 more words

Word Tasting Notes