CUT OFF MY NOSE….: to hurt yourself in an effort to punish someone else

cut off nose

How many times do we use a figure of speech without thinking how it must sound to someone just learning the language?  One of the features of my favorite TV show, NCIS, was the humorous way in which Zeva, an Israeli native, confused the language of figures of speech.  It struck me the other day […]

ACTUALLY: as the truth or facts of a situation; really


Teen jargon in the 21st century has taken on whole new categories that defy rules, regulations, norms, and patterns.   The introduction of social media, which requires code words to fit into tight spaces, has made it even more dramatic. But one of the words that drives editors and linguists crazy is actually.   It is what […]

SOURCE: the place from which something originates


Every now and then it gets frustrating to read or listen to people who claim the “truth” based upon their having found a story on the Internet or in some other recently-created resource.   This is true in all walks of life, from politics and economics to biblical references.   It amazes me that well-meaning people believe […]

GRASPING AT STRAWS: putting faith in potential rescues that can’t deliver

Figures of speech come easily to the speaker or the writer, but we seldom take the time to figure out what they meant originally.   A good example is today’s “word”, grasping at straws. The best answer I can find is that it refers to a person who is drowning who grabs for the straws or […]