Where were you the severe winter of 2019?

Hopefully, you’ve survived what recent terms describe as Snowmageddon, Snownado, Polar Vortex 2019, and more. This winter I dodged the brunt of it by enjoying time in NE Mississippi, but I feel for friends and loved ones experiencing this winter’s brutal cold. It meant 2-3 day school suspensions and even U.S. mail not being delivered…

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The Stories Nature Writes – 2

The Grand Canyon of the Colorado Last Dec. 23rd, my older son and his two youngest kids arranged their school vacation to show me the Grand Canyon. I’ve visited interesting places in other lands, but I had missed this American treasure and they wanted me to see it. They were right. It was awe-inspiring, and…

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The Stories Nature Writes

Treasured Rocks For Christmas 2018, my older son and his two youngest added an item to my bucket list AND helped me accomplish it. I’ve traveled to several continents, not all, but had not seen America’s Grand Canyon. My family wasn’t having it. Instead of coming to NE Mississippi where I now winter as they…

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Goals for a New Year

As quoted in Forever, Erma, a collection of American humorist, Erma Bombeck’s best-known writings, she closed her March 10, 1987, column with these words that to me are a perfect guideline for anyone’s coming year: “I always had a dream that when I am asked to give accounting of my life to a higher court, it…

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New and Old Christmas Carols

When we think of traditional Christmas carols such as “Away in a Manger” or “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” we assume they have been with us through the ages. As with many assumptions about history, we’re wrong. There is no way to prove what the first Christmas song was, but Christmas music has been…

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Principles for Critiquing? Or Bone-crushing Reviews?

On June 14, 1922, Warren G. Harding became the first U.S. President to have his voice transmitted by radio. This did not impress journalist H. L. Mencken, who said of Harding, “He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing…

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Thanksgiving or Turkey Day?

I was sad years back to find that numerous students even in Christian high schools and colleges do not know the origins behind American Thanksgiving and join many others in simply calling it Turkey Day. The busiest air traffic day of the year, the fourth Thursday in November is a heartwarming time to join family…

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More Interesting Word Origins

I love tracking word origins because so there is so often are interesting stories behind them. Apparently knucklehead refers to someone with a brain the size of a knuckle. Samuel Johnson, the compiler of England’s first dictionary, claims the word nincompoop comes from the Latin phrase non compos mentis (“not of right mind”), initially a…

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Dated Words – Here Today Gone Tomorrow

This blog highlights popular expressions made obsolete as technology marches forward. For example, I used to joke that I had a photographic memory that wasn’t developed (which worked fine in the camera film era but not in digital days). Some joke that it’s hard for any Clark Kent to change into Superman in this cell…

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October 16 is National Dictionary Day

October 16 is National Dictionary Day, an unofficial holiday celebrating the birthday of Noah Webster who published An American Dictionary of the English Language in 1828, the earliest version of the now famous, widely-used Merriam-Webster Dictionary. A dictionary is a book, optical disc, mobile device, or online source containing the words of a language alphabetically and providing information about their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, inflections, and derived forms. The best way to celebrate Dictionary Day is by expanding our…

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