Oh, Don’t Be Criticulous

Let’s stipulate that there are Perspectives on “Critical”: like, there are contexts in which people say “booo, ‘critical’” and others in which people say “yaaaaay, ‘critical!’” Now: the ways we use “crit_” (-ical, -icism, all the aunts and cousins) vary enough to almost obviate analysis of this boo/yay (like: if you use “critical” to mean “mean” and I use it … More Oh, Don’t Be Criticulous

Interpolitan Obpera

On Monday, I had a four-hour drive to South Carolina. Normally I dread these drives right until the moment they happen, at which point I realize I get to be 100% by myself for several hours and listen to whatever fabulous audiobook I want, and I’m delighted. This drive was different because this week is … More Interpolitan Obpera

Je t’invite

That phrase is one I love, both to use and to hear. Literally, “I invite you,” it’s used between friends (note the “t’” as in “tu” as in “we’re informal like that”) without a “to+infinitive” (so, not followed by something specific like “to come to the beach”)  to mean “hey–this food or beverage you are consuming … More Je t’invite


Let’s take a moment and note that while the top two definitions are obsolete, they are closest to the source. When I feel wretched, I want to be soothed, and while #s 3-6 will do, it’s 1 and the first part of 2 that are the good food. Yum! Upholding!

Confused;—of thought

  In pursuit of some therapeutic lexicography today, I was investigating whether the origins or 1934 meanings of “shadow” held any great surprises; alas! Nothing revealing. But guess what?! In 1934, “shag” meant almost any dang thing:   And even better: definition 2c of “shaggy”:   (Also the parallel structure of 2 in general…back when dictionaries … More Confused;—of thought


Historically, my use of “debacle” has been as a synonym for “clusterfuck”; I’ve been using it a lot lately, I think to create some emotional distance from an actual mild clusterfuck* by overstating the case. I also have a slow time pronouncing it–I don’t think I’ve said it wrong, but I always have to think … More Débâclez-vous!