Serious enough for a portmanteau.

Things are going to get a little crazy around here. I think I’m ready, though.

  • Stocked up on drinking water, ground coffee, non-perishable food (including Baked Cheetos), propane gas for the grill, AA batteries for LED lamps? Check!
  • Did laundry, vacuumed, charged all electronics, filled gas tank, sandbagged basement door? Check!
  • Sent emails to students with updated due dates, downloaded documents needed to study for Thursday’s midterm? Check!
  • Brought in wood if we need heat, cleaned last year’s ashes out of wood-burning stove, set out large bin to collect rain water to supplement the store of plumbing water? Check!
  • Got dark rum and ginger beer to make Dark n’ Stormys? Check!
  • Downloaded “Riders in the Storm” for cell phone ringtone? Check! Continue reading

Take Two: Words We Cannot Say…Except When We Can

I am a sucker for an online linguistic survey. Recently, I saw a tweet about this survey,  being done by a PhD student in Helsinki, about attitudes towards offensive language in English. I jumped right on it.

It then got me thinking about this post that I wrote over two years ago (originally published on 10 June 2012). Here it is, with some minor edits, but still with no pictures.

Read, comment, then go take the survey! Continue reading

When words aren’t good enough, we just need a date.

Once again, the same as this day one year ago, I did not plan or expect to be writing anything to mark the anniversary of terrorist attacks. However, an idea had been planted and, without my realizing it until I got home on Monday night, it grew into something bigger that demanded the light.

A few days ago on her Facebook page, an old friend of mine expressed her surprise when she realized the official name that had been assigned to the calendar date of September 11: Patriot Day. Her first instinct was to be annoyed. “WTF is Patriot Day? A sugar coated version of a terrorist attack?” she asked.

She’s not the only one to be either surprised or annoyed at the name change. Continue reading