ALT-: a fairly new prefix meaning “alternate”


When reading the Arts section of the Times I came across a term relating to a new comedy emphasis called alt-comedy.   I read on, expecting the term to be defined for me, but nothing in the following paragraphs gave me a clue as to what the word meant. It took some research, but eventually I […]

11/22/63: A novel by Stephen King…or a day of infamy…or Thanksgiving Day

I was student teaching in November, 1963, in an elementary school outside of Schenectady, New York.   It was near the end of the school day, and students (and teachers) were already into their jackets waiting for the beginning of Thanksgiving Break.  It had been a good day with patriotic and historical events throughout the day. […]

RIFE: abundant

If there is already a word like abundant to describe a more-than-adequate supply of objects, why would you then revert to the use of the word rife?   It’s an Old English word which means the same thing, but is used so obscurely that many people would not be aware of its meaning.   Yet it is […]

OPINE: to express an opinion

It sounds like an old-fashioned word to me, but I love the word opine. (/oh-PINE/)  As you would have guessed, it means to offer one’s own opinion on something.  It isn’t a negative word; neither is it a positive word.  It is neutral.  It just describes the act of expressing an opinion. So, today is […]

HARMONIC: compatible elements

Boy, this was a tough one.  If you were to take the time to look up the word harmonic in the dictionary (it doesn’t matter which one) you’d probably be overwhelmed by the scientific explanation of this phenomenon.   It has to do with the falling into place of elements of physics which are compatible.   But […]

JFK: 48 years ago today

Forty-eight years ago today President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.  The world changed that day. In the past month two publications have become available, a novel called 11/22/63  by Stephen King and a biography by Chris Matthews called Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero.  I have reserved the King novel for reading over the holiday, but I’m […]