UR: original, as in ur-family

adam and eve, black

The use of the prefix ur..usually followed by a hyphen…is to designate that the topic is pointing to the original.   It is a technique picked up from the Old German language and is meant to indicate proto, or original.    A proto-type of an automobile, for instance, is a a model which is made long before any […]

LIMINAL [LIM-uh-nl]: threshold


It is good to get the visual of a threshold in mind in order to get to the meaning of the word liminal.  The photo to the right places it in its proper perspective.   A threshold is an entry way that is elevated from the plane.  You have to step up to enter through the […]

SCHMISOGENESIS [shmiz-o-JEN-e-sis]: mirroring interactions in which every move by one side makes the other respond more negatively


Wait!  Don’t click out of this just because it’s a long word!  I know, I promised that this blog would be about words we use in everyday language, but I couldn’t ignore this word that popped up in the Times the other day.  Bear with me.  It’s worth it. Schmisogenesis is an amazing word that […]