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English Language

The Down and Dirty on Being "Gay"

Larry Paros | Posted 07.31.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Although there exists much controversy among scholars, the word most likely derives from the Old English gal for "lewd" and"lascivious" (which also gave us quite a "gal," a nineteenth-century British term for a prostitute) rather than the more obvious gai, from Provence in southeastern France, a word which earlier referred to courtly love and its literature.

Word Origin Comics: People Who Love People

Larry Paros | Posted 07.30.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

People, may I have your attention, please! It's time for some serious introspection. What makes you a real person? What persona do you show the world? What kind of personality do you have? Are you part of the faceless personnel which make up the world; or do you bring something personal to it?

Word Origin Comics: The End of Marriage as We Know It

Larry Paros | Posted 07.22.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

All good things must come to an end; so too with marriage. And it ain't cheap people. As Robin Williams once noted, "Divorce is expensive. I used to joke they were going to call it 'all the money,' but they changed it to 'alimony.'

Which Curse Words Are Popular In Your State? Find Out From These Maps.

The Huffington Post | Lorenzo Ligato | Posted 07.17.2015 | Technology

We live in a country of swearers. We swear at work, as well as home. Our politicians have dirty mouths too. Studies have even shown that cursing ...

14 Absurd Things Tumblr Can Teach You About The English Language

The Huffington Post | Sara Boboltz | Posted 07.17.2015 | Arts

While the "microblogging platform" known as Tumblr is essentially a large horde of teens knotted together by invisible strands of WiFi, it is als...

Word Origin Comics: Kids, You Can't Live With Them and...

Larry Paros | Posted 07.15.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Kelly Corrigan reminded us that "If John Lennon was right that life is what happens when you're making other plans, parenthood is what happens when everything is flipped over and spilling everywhere and you can't find a towel or a sponge or your "inside" voice."

15 Words and Phrases that Deserve to Die

Frederick W. Schmidt | Posted 07.14.2015 | Business
Frederick W. Schmidt

With spring cleaning behind us, it's time to reexamine the language we use and the real meaning of some of the expressions that have found their way into our vocabulary.

Word Origin Comics: Bread and Butter Issues for the Sexes

Larry Paros | Posted 07.08.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

How did men come to lord over women? Why is there nothing special about being a lady? How did man come to be considered the "breadwinner? For the answer to these and a few more intriguing questions about men and women and their relationship to one another, just read on.

Guns 'R Us: Our Violent Words, Our Violent Ways

Larry Paros | Posted 07.02.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Sooner or later, we'll just have to "bite the bullet" on the subject. A century ago, before anesthesia, it was common to give a wounded soldier a bullet to bite on in order to divert his attention from the pain of a battlefield amputation

Comics for the Spirit: On Becoming More Caring

Larry Paros | Posted 07.02.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Larry Paros

You know there's no "I" in "team," but believe that the "care" you need can be found in your "career." Unfortunately, you're looking in the wrong pla...

Word Origin Comics: Wow, Not Woe to Women!

Larry Paros | Posted 06.29.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

"What is a woman?" you might ask. Helen Reddy provided a partial answer in 1971 with her hit tune, "I am Woman," which she co-wrote with Ray Burton as a filler on her debut album.

Reflections of an Octogenarian: Education and the Symbols of Oppression: Charleston, Dixie, and the Confederate Flag

Larry Paros | Posted 06.24.2015 | Education
Larry Paros

As a retired educator, I often wonder whether my efforts have made any difference in the lives of my students or the course of the culture.

Word Origin Comics: How Careless Are You?

Larry Paros | Posted 06.24.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

You know there's no "I" in "team," but believe that the "care" you need can be found in your "career." Unfortunately, you're looking in the wrong place. Your career calls on you to be "careful" about your work but "careless" towards those closest to you.

29 Things Australians Say (That Americans Don't)

The Huffington Post | Aimie Rigas | Posted 06.22.2015 | Arts

Australians are fairly well known for their incredible ability to give everyone (and everything) a nickname. But there are some everyday phrases we ta...

Word Origin Comics: Honeymoon, Shmoneymoon... Bah Humbug!

Larry Paros | Posted 06.18.2015 | Comedy
Larry Paros

The honeymoon was probably invented by dentists who, by administering nitrous oxide ( AKA "laughing gas"), provided a cheap high while masking the hard digging required to get to the root of things-- leaving the patient to awaken to a large bill and the prospect of future reconstruction.

Word Origin Comics: A Father's Day Card: Who's Your Daddy? And Where Did He come From?

Larry Paros | Posted 06.18.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

It's time to once more celebrate dear old Dad. He's come a long way, from his humble beginnings in baby talk as da-da to the heights he achieved as "...

Word Origin Comics: Spousing Up Your Marriage

Larry Paros | Posted 06.12.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Our spouse is seldom the stuff of which poems are written. It's probably because of the limited number of words with which it rhymes. There's "house,"which is pretty mundane," louse," which is belittling; "rouse," which is daunting; leaving us only "souse" and "dowse"-- drunk and wet.

Who Decides What Makes A Woman?

Brynn Tannehill | Posted 06.11.2015 | Gay Voices
Brynn Tannehill

Accepting a transgender woman as female doesn't devalue the institution of womanhood any more that accepting gay spouses devalues the institution of marriage.

Word Origin Comics: The Swinging Single and His Descent Into Madness

Larry Paros | Posted 06.09.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

To be single is a basic and primal instinct. But as Samuel Goldwyn noted, " A bachelor's life is no life for a single man," explaining why so many give it up so easily. It happens to the best of guys and faster than you can imagine.

Sara Boboltz

We Still Can't Decide Whether To Put One Space After A Period Or Two

HuffingtonPost.com | Sara Boboltz | Posted 06.01.2015 | Arts

We asked teachers which spacing habit they're teaching the youth of America.

The Top Ten Ways to Select the Republican Candidate for President

Larry Paros | Posted 05.28.2015 | Comedy
Larry Paros

The answer is simple. Have candidates compete on the Nation's top reality TV shows. It's a format they should all feel comfortable with. The GOP, after all, has had a long and contentious relationship with reality. And reality shows are to reality what Fox News is to news.

Word Origin Comics: Getting Burnt Out on Love

Larry Paros | Posted 05.22.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Albert Schweitzer suggested that we think with deep gratitude of those who have lit the flame within us. Not all, however, feel thankful for incendiary encounters. Certain past loves are simply too hot to handle.

Word Origin Comics: I'll Take Romance...You Gotta Be Kidding!

Larry Paros | Posted 05.14.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Thomas Moore considered romantic love to be an illusion, "a truth we discover at the end of a love affair or else when the sweet emotions of love lead us into marriage and then turn down their flames;" or as Ambrose Bierce put it," a temporary insanity, curable by marriage."

Word Origin Comics: Mom's the Word on This Day of All Days

Larry Paros | Posted 05.07.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

We all idealize our mothers. Abe Lincoln wrote how "All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." Michael Jackson topped it with, "My mother's wonderful. To me she's perfection." It took the mother of an unknown commentator, however, to put such accolades in perspective, reminding her son " I told you a million times not to exaggerate."

Word Origin Comics: What's Love Got to do With it...Huh?

Larry Paros | Posted 06.28.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

How seriously should you take this "love" thing? Some believe it to be a grave matter requiring scientific reflection. Einstein maintained, however, that you couldn't hold gravitation responsible for people falling in love.