Monthly Archives: August 2013

Where to drop the time element

Be careful of where you put the time element. Here’s a breaking news story from AZCentral: Scottsdale police arrested a 30-year-old man suspected of burglarizing two businesses after a chase early Wednesday, police said. That’s a bold thief. It takes … Continue reading

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What the hell is an ‘educator?’

What the hell is an “educator?” Today we’re going to deal with a word that didn’t exist when I was a kid and has no utility today. It’s the high-falutin’ moniker: Educator. What generally is meant by this word (or … Continue reading

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Word of the day: Block, bloc

Word of the day A bloc is a coalition of some common interest, as in what we used to call the Eastern Bloc, or countries aligned with the former Soviet Union. It doesn’t have to be political. Block is almost … Continue reading

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On the alert for PR words

I was sitting in my dentist’s chair the other day when Doc says he’s going to have to “do a little dusting” to a tooth that was leaning into the space where an implant was supposed to go. “Dust? You … Continue reading

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Totally destroyed, totally decimated: Both totally wrong

Word of the day Destroy, decimate The Romans were a tough bunch who knew how to keep order in a far-flung empire more effectively than anyone before or since. A practice they used to keep unruly, rebellious or other sin-committing … Continue reading

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Word of the day – Palette, palate, pallet

Word of the day: Palette, palate, pallet You might put paint on a palette or pallet, but it would not be so pleasant on the palate. All three words are pronounced the same (PAL-ette), but they have distinct meanings. A … Continue reading

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Homonyms, homophones, homographs

An advantage of the rich stew of this mongrel language of English is the eclectic thievery of words from other languages. The disadvantage is the confusion created by homonyms, homophones and homographs: Homonyms: Words that sound the same and are … Continue reading

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