James Harbeck is an editor by day, a designer by night, and a writer by Jove! His love of wine tasting crossed with his love of language to spawn word tasting notes, which appear daily at his blog, Sesquiotica. Buy his just-released book of salacious verse on English usage, Songs of Love and Grammar, on Lulu.com.
Victuals is one of those words that many people know by sound and sight but have not put sound and sight together. It's sort of like knowing someone by name and knowing someone by face, but not realizing the two are the same person. Until you accidentally find out, and it's usually embarrassing. Continue reading...
We all know what a varmint is, thanks to Yosemite Sam (and others). It's an annoying animal (or person), the fauna equivalent of a weed. It's something (or someone) who takes your nice, tidy set-up, your lovely garden or lawn or your livestock, and makes a mess of it. Before you had a good environment; now you have a nasty varmint. Continue reading...
This is a topical word: the cardinal electors have just spent two days locked into their pressure-cooker, the Sistine Chapel, to determine who will bear the keys of St. Peter. They were all sequestered in the Vatican, that enclave in the middle of the Eternal City, locked in debate and prayer and voting. Literally locked in: the doors of the Sistine Chapel were locked. Continue reading...
In his latest Word Tasting Note, James Harbeck presents a baker's dozen of reasons why he likes lagniappe, a word meaning "a small gift, especially one given by a merchant to a customer who makes a purchase." Continue reading...
When Obama and Romney crossed swords in last night's presidential debate, the word bayonet made a surprising but memorable appearance. That inspired James Harbeck to compose the latest in his series of Word Tasting Notes. Continue reading...
Haven't you always thought that throughfare seemed more sensible than thoroughfare? I mean, it's a through road, not a thorough road, right? Continue reading...
When Nik Wallenda crossed over Niagara Falls on tightrope as a daredevil stunt, it was a golden opportunity for commentators to use the word funambulist. Continue reading...
Topics: Vocabulary Words
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