Danger Zone or Unwise Questions

Who has not accidentally asked unwise awkward questions you immediately wished you could retract? We vocalize questions in light, rising tones, but if offensive, the answers may fly back in heavy, angry tones. Here are danger zone examples. Unless you’re sure a pregnancy is involved, a question to avoid if you see a friend gaining…

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Onomatopoeia – sound effect words make storytelling live

Delores E. Topliff Profound thanks to the Greeks for creating sound effect words. The term comes from two combined Greek words, onoma meaning “name” and poiein meaning “to make” or create words that sound like the action described. This post gleaned information from http://examples.yourdictionary.com/5-examples-of-onomatopoeia.html Onomatopoeic words can be verbs or nouns. “Slap” is the sound heard when skin hits skin…

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Improve your writing by joke-writing and -telling

For those eager to write prizewinning stories, consider mastering the art of joke-writing. Jokes are miniature stories with a definite beginning, middle, and end. Get the sequence wrong, or leave out something essential, and it falls flat, giving you instant feedback. Master comedian and joke-writer, Sid Caesar, once said, “A joke is a story with a curlicue.”…

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Word Fruit Salad

Delores E. Topliff We’ve all done it, gotten our words fractured and said the wrong thing. English clergyman William Archibald Spooner became so famous for his accidental tongue twists with unintentional comic effect, we now call them Spoonerisms. Thanks to fun-with-words.com, the column on the left shows what his hearers heard, often in sermons, and…

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Travel is its own reward

For many, June officially kicks off travel season. Because I take writing seriously, and also love meaningful travel, it boosted my morale when Trip Advisor told me that my occasional trip and travel evaluations have currently been read and voted helpful by over 17,000 people. What? Who knew? That encourages me to take greater care…

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Would you live in a library if you could?

When I was a young mom and grad student with two little boys ages 5 and 3, I took them with me everywhere I could (sometimes even to classes I taught). We often visited public and university libraries, some with deep, dark basements, and others seven-stories high, for lengthy periods of time. My sons took…

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What if familiar stories ended differently?

Delores E. Topliff Twice so far, the University of Northwestern-St. Paul where I teach has hosted the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association annual championships and will do so again this summer. NCFCA is the oldest and most established homeschool forensics league in the U.S. I’ve loved being a finalist judge the last two times…

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Spoonerisms, plus Victor Borge, and too much alphabetized logic for me

Delores E. Topliff Spoonerisms are verbal errors in which speaker accidentally transpose the initial sounds or letters of two or more words, usually to humorous effect, as in the sentence accidentally saying you have hissed the mystery lectures, instead of, you have missed the history lectures, a simple tlip of the songue, or tons of soil for sons of toil,…

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April showers bring May flowers

April showers bring May flowers—or so we’ve been told. One source traces that phrase to an 1886 saying which might have deeper roots in a 1610 poem. Another source says the phrase should sound like this: “March winds bring April showers which bring May flowers AND June bugs.”  In general, rain does affect the timing and…

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May these thoughts spurn you on. What?

Delores E. Topliff You may have seen this great post about Acryologia shared on Facebook. But wait, there’s more; and I make no apologies. I love delightful word misuses and have a small collection of my own. Plus I also manage to goof up occasionally and get my tang toungled. Years ago when many products…

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