Category Archives: Language

Does “Taken” Mean “Killed” in Big Game Hunter Language?

Walter Palmer said he wouldn’t have “taken” Cecil the lion if he had known of Cecil’s special status. Even the first time I read this statement, I found it somehow inappropriate–strange, at least. Maybe it’s part of the big hunter jargon. … Continue reading

Posted in Animal deaths, animal rights, animals, Language | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Grey or Gray? I’ll Take the Peasant Class (a repost)

I just read a friend’s conjecture, based on students’ writing preferences, that “grey” may soon be a more popular spelling than “gray.” My response was this: “Well, standing up for the peasant class and my own background and some of … Continue reading

Posted in changing language, Language, language snob | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Praise of Keith Donohue, writer (a repost)

For about seven years I’ve been attempting to write fantasy. Since I’m too much a realist, my fantasy world hovers right on the border–not fantastical enough for lovers of fantasy and not realistic enough for another audience (maybe too realistic. … Continue reading

Posted in angels, Language, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trampoosing Blues in a Word

While researching for my dissertation, I encountered the word “trampoosing” in a personal letter by a president of either Harvard or Yale in its early years. He described his veritable door-to-door efforts to raise funds for his university as “trampoosing.” … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Writer’s Language

Most of us have words we’re fond of, some for their meaning, some for their sound, some for the feel of them on the tongue, and some rare ones for all these pleasures at once. I like “cellardoor” and “pickle … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Writing, Language, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Changing Vernacular: Working on Food

When I first discovered what seemed to be a spelling error in my mother’s correspondence, I felt a slight dismay and a little superiority. I was much younger then, in college, and thought I had finally gained more knowledge than … Continue reading

Posted in changing language, current vernacular, dining out, Language | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment