OFTEN : frequently


    You may be scratching your head and asking yourself why I would choose such a common, easily-understood word as the focus of today’s blog posting.   I don’t blame you. But the reason I chose the word often is that it may well be one of the most mis-pronounced words in American English.   It […]

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 […]

WHATEVER: nation’s most annoying word

It doesn’t take a lot for a teenager to be characterized as ”annoying.”  It comes with the territory, as a teen lurches through the predictable stage of growing independence.  Parents know nothing. Rules are unfair.  “Everybody” is doing what they want to do.  And then, there’s the whole thing about language.  A new vocabulary emerges […]

CONFLICTED: torn between or among options

I suppose there are all kinds of issues, some more frivolous than others, over which people are conflicted today:  the next loser on American Idol; the winner of the NCAA basketball tournament; the designer of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress; the right stocks to select to get back on board economically; is this the right time […]