Feeds:
Posts
Comments

2017 Word of the Year

[courtesy of Merriam-Webster]

Drum roll please:

Feminism: If you have to ask why, read the news. If you’re male, listen to the ladies.

 

Contenders for Word of the Year:

Complicit: Means “helping to commit a crime or do wrong in some way.” Again, read the news.

Recuse: Means “to disqualify (oneself) as judge in a particular case” & “to remove (oneself) from participation to avoid a conflict of interest.”  Read the news some more.

Empathy: Means “the ability to share another person’s feelings.” News, movies, books, it shows up everywhere.

Dotard: Means “a person in his or her dotage” i.e. senility. This is an old insult that was revived in 2017.

Syzygy: Means “the nearly straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies (such as the sun, moon, and earth during a solar or lunar eclipse) in a gravitational system.” I.e. supermoon.

Gyro: Means “a sandwich especially of lamb and beef, tomato, onion, and yogurt sauce on pita bread.” Yes, the word has many pronunciations & is related to gyroscope.

Federalism: Means “the distribution of power in an organization (such as a government) between a central authority and the constituent units.” Read the news.

Hurricane: Means “a tropical cyclone with winds of 74 miles (119 km) per hour or greater, especially in the western Atlantic, usually accompanied by rain, thunder, & lightning.” Read this year’s weather results.

Gaffe: Means “a noticeable mistake.” As in what happened at the Oscars.

Invasion Warning!

This is Oumuamua, a Hawaiian word for “messenger.” (a Hawaiian observatory discovered it) The space rock’s elongated shape—like a cigar or needle— is an odd shape. This comes from interstellar space, and scientists are investigating it for signs of extra-terrestrial life. As a precaution, I assume it does come from an extra-terrestrial civilization. Run! Everyone for themselves! (or not)

Dragons of the New World

Kukulkan “plumed serpent” is a Mayan dragon associated with Q’uq’umatz, a creator-God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quetzalcoatl “feather serpent” is an Aztec creator-God also associated with the wind and the planet Venus.

 

 

 

 

 

Uktena is a huge, horned Cherokee snake that either inhabits mountain passes or deep water. Those who gaze upon a crystal in its forehead are either paralyzed or their heart stops. Great Serpent Mound in Ohio maybe a likeness of it.

The following illustration is from Daniel Eskridge https://daniel-eskridge.pixels.com/:

 

 

 

 

Not for Computer Geeks, but they are welcome to read on!

Alliteration: the recurrence of stressed, initial consonant sounds.

Example from my childhood: Great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts.

(some writers, including me, would include initial unstressed consonants) Military maneuvers manipulate us.

Consonance: the repetition of consonants that are close together.

Example: Animals named Sam are clammy.

Sibilance: A consonance that uses sibilants (S, Sh, Z, ZH) –

Example: Zack’s uncertain, sad milkshake.

A good writer will utilize consonants—this is just some ideas to jog your imagination. Make your own rules, but let your ear guide you. Some people think of these as devices for poetry or children’s writing, but great writers have always employed them.

Have fun finding forms of your own!

Who’s afraid of worms?

I am, when you spell it WYRMS. These are from northern Europe.

The Cherokee have something similar called UKTENA ᎤᎧᏖᎾ.

Call them huge serpents or dragons, but either way, it is enough to cure me from fishing. But something I want to write about.

The illustration of the Uktena is by Daniel Eskridge.  https://daniel-eskridge.pixels.com/

Present  Past  Past-Participle  Present-Participle  

To lay (put or place)    lay          laid    laid                          laying

[transitive, requires a direct object]

To lie (rest or incline)  lie          lay      lain                          lying

[intransitive, no direct object]

AND, don’t forget:

To lie (tell an untruth)  lie          lied    lied                         lying

[can be transitive or intransitive]

AND, don’t forget: lie can be 2 different nouns: 1, a place, where something/someone lay. 2, an untruth.

As a writer, I can have fun writing dialogue for young and/or uneducated speakers mixing this all up.

 

 

 

Charles Suddeth

(with deepest apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, when all through our flat

Not a critter was stirring, not even our cat;

Grocery bags were tacked by the oven somewhere,

In hopes that old Pilgrim would soon be in there;

The children were all snoozing inside their beds;

While visions of pumpkin pies tortured their heads;

Mamma in her nightie, a bourbon in my lap,

Had just settled ourselves for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the street there arose such a din,

I leaped from my bed to see what it was then.

Away to the window I flew in a jiffy,

Tore open the shutters and felt pretty iffy.

The moon glittered on the edge of the cruddy old snow,

Giving a daylight-luster to everything below,

When what to my red, aching eyes did spy,

But a miniature wagon and eight tiny pigs on the fly,

With a crusty driver who sang high on a whim,

I knew in an instant he must be ye old Pilgrim.

Speedier than vultures his little pigs came,

And he groused, and screamed, and called them by name:

“Now Shoat! Now, Bloat! Now Hogeye and Chubby!

On, Runny! On, Funny! On, Hawkeye and Tubby!

On the top of the roof! On the top of that mall!

Now rush away! Rush away! Rush away all!”

As turkeys before wild hurricanes do fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, leap to the sky;

So over the chimneys the eight pigs they flew

With the wagon full of hams and old Pilgrim, too—

And then, right away, I heard on the roof

The clinging and clanging of each porky hoof.

As I ducked down my head, and swiveled around,

Down the chimney old Pilgrim plopped with a bound.

He was dressed all in black, from his hat to his toe,

His clothes were grimy and greasy you must know,

Pots and pans dangled and jangled from his back,

And he looked like a crook who was opening his sack.

His eyes—bloodshot and dreary! His hair was all gone!

His cheeks were like bubbles, his nose like a gun!

His grin and lips were most delightful to me,

And the fuzz on his chin was as curly as could be;

The long pipe he held clamped in his teeth,

The smoke curling over his head like a holiday wreath;

He had a wrinkled face and a big beer belly

That quivered when he chuckled, like stale mint jelly.

He was thick like baloney, like an old-time elf,

And I laughed when I spied him, wanted to hide beneath the shelf;

A wink of one eye, a shake of his head

Soon let me know I would soon have bread;

He uttered not a word, went straight to his pan,

Filled the sacks with snacks; then moved like an old man,

And laying one hand beside his big head,

And giving a smile, out the back door he fled;

He soared to his wagon, to his team gave a shout,

And away they all soared with thunder and clout.

But I heard him exclaim as he dashed through his flight—

“Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!”