Monday, January 31, 2011


Vowels are like pearls. A syllable may have multiple consonants or only one, but a vowel always gems the center of a syllable in the English language.

A Biography of the English Language yields little treasures like this in each chapter!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Tolkienesque Word

Alas, snow days and an avalanche of homework tend to fall on the same day, but I'm surrendering the scholarly quill for the moment to share my favorite word. I stumbled upon it in my textbook, A Biography of the English Language by C.M. Millward:


It's means elf-bright or beautiful. I'm fairly certain this word is one of the primary reasons I am an English major!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Scintillatious! Faux Word Fun

In her poem "Part One: Life," Emily Dickinson wrote: "A WORD is dead/ When it is said,/ Some say./ I say it just/ Begins to live/ That day."

I must agree, especially when considering how many made-up or popular words are now part of the dictionary, such as "muggle" and "unfriend."

What faux word would you mint for adoption by reality? I would nominate "scintillatious: -adjective. [sin-tl-ey-shuh-s]. Excessively sparkly!"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Notebook

I want to talk about the Notebook. Not the movie, I mean a writer's best friend. In my very first creative writing class in college, I had an instructor who required all students to keep a notebook of daily randomness: observations, ideas, pictures, etc. The notebook could be made up of anything, from paper scraps, electronic files, binders or wallet-sized booklets. The only stipulation was that we constantly fill it. I still have most of the notebooks I made during different creative writing classes, monstrous compilations of magazine clippings, illegible scribblings and messy diagrams. But after I graduated from college, I'm ashamed to say I slipped out of the habit of taking regular notes. Perhaps some writers find notebooks unnecessary, but I know at least for myself that note taking gives my writing an added vitality, and I want that enthusiasm pushing through the ink again.

Time to get back to the basics!

Random note for today:

Last week I watched vendors sweep flower petals from their store fronts and doves eat the leftovers on plates. I don't know what to do with these images yet, but their loveliness sticks with me.