TEA PARTY: a children’s game mimicking reality

We were fortunate to have two daughters.   They were born into an era in which many things were changing rapidly, among them the games children play.   We had delayed video games as long as we could, but their brother bought a Pac Man for them as a gift.  What could we do? But our girls […]

SEMI-COLON: A punctuation mark (;) used to join two independent clauses in a sentence.

The debate continues among scholars, editors and writers.  Is the semi-colon a useful tool or an overused, detracting usage? It seems that some in the literary field consider extensive use of semi-colons to be frivolous and unnecessary.  I suppose the word “extensive” is the key to the discussion.  I don’t think there’s anybody out there who […]

JUXTAPOSE: to put side by side for the sake of comparison

I don’t remember my dreams very often.  If I can jump out of bed (harder than ever to do that!) and grab a paper and pen and write furiously, I can sometimes capture it.   But more often my dreams are interesting, exciting, but forgotten within moments of awakening. Not so last night. I dreamed I […]

CAVEAT: a warning

  It’s not quite so simple as that which is depicted by a warning sign like this one.  Caveat is a little more sophisticated than that.  But I love moose warning signs, so I decided to display it. A caveat, however, is more about a predetermined understanding.  If someone has issued a caveat they have […]

LOCOMATED: transported by a locomotive to a fairy-tale setting.

My wife and I needed a mindless day on which we could sit back, drink in our surroundings, and not be bothered by things like medical issues, work problems, or household chores.   I acted impulsively, therefore, when I read an article in the Travel section of The New York Times on Friday. (see p. C33)   […]

SATIRE: the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

Satire is a dangerous form of humor.  Whether employed in stand-up comedy, writing, or drama, satire requires something that other genres of expression don’t:  the person experiencing satire must be capable of understanding it and have an appreciation for it. Some might say that the appreciation for satire is an acquired taste.  Some people need […]