HISSYFIT [HISS-ee-fit]: an adult throwing a temper tantrum


There’s a controversy over the origin of the very explicit word, hissyfit. It’s clear that it is an Americanism of the 20th century, but it came into use in two different periods. At the beginning of the 20th century there was a word, hissy which referred  specifically to a woman. It’s not a very classy […]

PULP FICTION: fiction dealing with lurid or sensational subjects

pulp fiction

The definitions of pulp fiction say that the term comes from the rough, cheap paper used to print the hand-sized books from the 40’s and 50’s.   But I think the term is broader than that.   It reflects the rough, cheap writing that was used in the bottom-of-the-barrel plots that were included in the books.   Oh, […]

INDEPENDENT: to be unconstrained by affiliations


Standing atop the magnificent State House of the State of Rhode Island is a statue created by artist George T. Brewster, and placed in this highly-conspicuous place in 1899.   Originally it was thought that a statue of the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, should dominate the State House cupulo. But further  conversation led to […]

VALENTINE’S DAY INEQUITY: diamonds for women, a card for men?


Now I don’t want to sound like a misogynist, but as a man, I think Valentine’s Day has turned into a “women get the benefit” day.  I’ve never really liked Valentine’s Day to begin with.  I think it’s a product of the greeting card industry, gleefully supported by the floral, candy, and jewelry industries.  I […]

SHARIAH [shah-REE-ah]: a system of law deemed to be derived from the Koran

      A lot has been said and written about Islamic law over the past few years, some out of intelligence, some out of ignorance.  The fear of something “different” keeps some people from seeking the truth when it comes to things Islamic.  This is particularly true when dealing with the concept of Shariah, […]

LADY: a term used by some instead of the word “woman”

I have an on-going, jesting conversation with our son about the term “lady,” particularly as it refers to women who are athletes.  I think I can blame it on universities like Tennessee, who insist upon calling their very fine women’s basketball team “The Lady Vols.” For centuries the term lady has been used to designate […]