Browsing All posts tagged under »language«

Baffled as a Buffalo

August 17, 2014

91

My childhood was filled with peculiar sayings and expressions. I heard them so many times that I was sure they must have meant something, and equally sure that I was just too dumb to know what it was. Most of these phrases were employed by adults who, in the way of the mid-twentieth century, strove […]

Outta Sight

August 9, 2014

91

“You’re just too cool.” That’s what she said. In fact, those were her exact words, which proves one thing: she’s never met me. No one has ever described me as cool, or any heat level, for that matter. If there were a television show called World’s Least Cool Human Being, I would be the permanent […]

Listen Carefully

August 1, 2014

90

Here’s a thing I’ve noticed. It has to do with accents, but the theory can be applied to a lot of other things, as well: The farther away we are from a place, the more everything seems to look and sound the same. I’ll give you an example, because so far you have no idea what […]

It Goes Without Saying

November 28, 2013

93

Sometimes I’ll be seated at my desk, pretending to be working or lost in thought, and someone will walk by and say, “Is it okay if I steal your pen?” As they ask me this, they’re grabbing one of the hundreds of pens that I’ve acquired over recent years, and that are now scattered around […]

The Magic Bullet of Change

November 20, 2013

77

The word grassy means covered with grass. I’m so certain of that, I didn’t even bother to look it up. The word knoll refers to a small hill. I did check that one. There doesn’t seem to be a precise definition, however. No minimum or maximum height or diameter, for example. No size requirement at […]

Five Thousand Whats

April 20, 2013

300

As I write this paragraph, my blog is racing past a milestone that I would have, at one time, thought unreachable: five thousand subscribers. Now before you go getting all impressed – or thinking that I’m trying to impress you – please keep reading. What does it mean to have five thousand followers? To the […]

The Well-Dressed Post

November 28, 2012

94

At a recent Thanksgiving dinner, someone asked if I would pass the dressing. Growing up where I did, I was more used to the term stuffing. To me, dressing is that gloppy mixture you pour over salad. But I’m sophisticated and worldly, and I knew almost immediately what she was talking about. Also, there was […]

Help Has Arrived, and Just In Time

December 31, 2011

156

Life seems to be getting more and more complicated. You must’ve noticed that, because even I’ve noticed it, and believe me, a lot of things escape my attention. For example, I frequently walk around for the better part of a day with a dryer sheet hanging out from the bottom of my pants. Last week, […]

Crossing the Line

October 4, 2010

34

My wife and I are American citizens, and so are our kids, but we moved to Canada twelve years ago. It wasn’t a political statement of some kind. We weren’t trying to escape anything or looking to pursue a different lifestyle. We were just visiting and happened to find a house we loved. In our […]

Looking Down On Subtitles

June 24, 2010

9

I read a lot. At any given time, I may have four or five books going at once. So when I watch a movie, I want to sit back and be lazy. Having to frantically read subtitles doesn’t seem relaxing. Now I realize that sometimes they may be unavoidable. Foreign films are made in another […]