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Etymology

Word Origin Comics: The Story Behind Valentine's Day: Read All About It!

Larry Paros | Posted 02.12.2016 | Books
Larry Paros

Follow Larry Paros @ insomanywords.net Take words with Larry @ twitter.com/wordswithlarry facebook.com/wordswithlarry pinterest.com/wordswithl...

Word Origin Comics: You Against Them -- Beating Out The Next Guy

Larry Paros | Posted 02.11.2016 | Books
Larry Paros

"What does it mean to be the best? It means you have to be better than the number two guy. But what gratification is there in that? He's a loser--that...

Poetry at Stake

Tara Skurtu | Posted 02.09.2016 | Arts
Tara Skurtu

Poetry has the logic of memory, the spontaneity of dreams, yet is much like calculus--each line is, in a sense, an asymptote composed of and continu...

50 Fantastic Facts About The English Language

Paul Anthony Jones | Posted 12.16.2015 | Books
Paul Anthony Jones

@HaggardHawks' second birthday has already been celebrated online with a fiendishly difficult quiz, but to mark the occasion all the more, here are 50 of its finest language facts and words worth remembering.

Word Origin Comics: Could You Be a Bigot? Only Your Beard Knows for Sure

Larry Paros | Posted 10.16.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Bigots take things at face value, and in today's world any swarthy male with a beard tends to invoke suspicion. Beards do, after all, have their detractors.

Word Origin Comics: That Certain Something in the Air -- Could it be You?

Larry Paros | Posted 10.12.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Good writers never put on airs. What makes me mad is arrogance, pretension, putting on airs. ...

Word Origin Comics:How Classy Are You Really?

Larry Paros | Posted 10.06.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Let's have a class about class. It's not easy.

Word Origin Comics: For Witty People and Sophisticates Only...All Others Go Away

Larry Paros | Posted 10.02.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

"Despite all that education and experience can do, I retain a certain level of unsophistication that I cannot eradicate and that my friends find amusi...

Word Origin Comics: Snobs of the World Unite! You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Disdain

Larry Paros | Posted 09.30.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Is that your nose that's up in the air? Could you possibly be a snob? "People who hold important positions in society are commonly labeled "somebodi...

Word Origin Comics: So What Do You Really Know...Anyhow?

Larry Paros | Posted 09.29.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Do you feel that the genius in you has somehow been overlooked?

Word Origin Comics: Let's Hear it for all the Fools and Silly People Out There!

Larry Paros | Posted 09.22.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

For all you grim rationalists who traffic in sound logic: "Do a loony-goony dance 'Cross the kitchen floor, Put something silly in the world That ...

The End of "Awesome"

A.J. Condeelis | Posted 09.15.2015 | Comedy
A.J. Condeelis

This is long overdue. I hoped the problem would go away, but it only seems to be getting worse. It is a slow lingering drawn-out death. The word "awesome" used to mean something.

Word Origin Comics: Idiots or Idiosyncrasies. You Pays Your Money and You Takes Your Choice

Larry Paros | Posted 09.11.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Pick from the following: "Fletcher appeared beside her. He peered at the baby. "Can it do any tricks yet?" "I'm still working on it. Want to hold he...

Word Origin Comics: By the Sweat of Our Brows We Shall Know Thee

Larry Paros | Posted 09.08.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

At present the distinction [between highbrow and lowbrow books] is certainly used to allow us the satisfaction of despising certain authors and readers without imposing on us the labour of showing that they are bad.

Word Origins Comics: It's Hip to Be Square

Larry Paros | Posted 09.04.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Enough about oddballs and out of the box activity. Let's hear it for the ordinary folk, their humble origins, and their impact on the language...

Stanley Fish on One End of a Log and Carly Fiorina on the Other: Can Schooling Get Any Better Than That?

Larry Paros | Posted 08.31.2015 | Politics
Larry Paros

Stanley Fish recently made a tongue-in-cheek endorsement of Carly Fiorina for Secretary of Education. OMG! Strange bedfellows indeed -- a philosopher, detached from the real world and an entrepreneurial opportunist thoroughly immersed in it.

Word Origin Comics: Who Are Those Masked Men and Crusading Women?

Larry Paros | Posted 08.27.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Guess who? "They are the ones who act first and talk later. They are fiercely independent thinkers who know how to fight the lizard brain (to use Set...

Word Origin Comics: Black Sheep and Bellwethers... and Lambs to the Slaughter

Larry Paros | Posted 08.21.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Tend to get fleeced? No sense being sheepish about it. It's merely time to separate the sheep from the goats. But not without a word of warning.

What the *!@?!#: Four Letter Words: Things of Beauty and a Joy Forever?

Larry Paros | Posted 08.21.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Four-letter words and their ilk are everywhere. They have come to occupy a formidable role in our culture--in our everyday language, entertainment, literature and music. Where do they belong--limbo, hell, or whatever? Be that as it may, it is now time to put them and their ilk into proper perspective. What better way than through a manifesto? ...So Ta-Da!

Word Origin Comics: What's So Kind About Kindness and is it Only for Your Kin?

Larry Paros | Posted 08.19.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

There is no more hokey and maddening a tune than "Small, Small, World," especially when confined to a small vessel at Disneyland and having it hammered over and over again at you.

Teachers Wanted... Forget It, I've Got Better Things to Do

Larry Paros | Posted 08.14.2015 | Education
Larry Paros

Autonomy is really at the nub of it all. Teaching is an art, and we need to respect the artist and give him full reign in his expression.

Word Origin Comics: Thoroughbred or Mutt? Your Family's Lineage Finally Laid Bare

Larry Paros | Posted 08.14.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Take pride in your lineage? All well and fine to honor those on whose shoulders you stand. But let's not get carried away with it. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson noted, "If you need to invoke your academic pedigree or job title for people to believe what you say, then you need a better argument.

Word Origin Comics: What What Does It Take to be the Best? This One's for You!

Larry Paros | Posted 08.05.2015 | Books
Larry Paros

Stand out from the crowd! Break new ground! Go the Extra Mile! Dare to be great! And then flaunt it!

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?