A lot of people seemed to like last Monday’s post about Taylor Mali’s hilarious video The The Impotence of Proofreading, so I thought I’d share another one of his thoughts on the dumbing down of the English language.
This one is, like, totally, cool…whatever. Read more
I have a thing for words. I’ve written about terrible words, annoying words, more annoying words, even more annoying words, happy words, and even difficult-to-spell words. Words are awesome.
Wait a minute. I just said “awesome”–which is one of our culture’s most overused, filler, meaningless words right now. Honestly, I probably say “awesome” way too often–and if I actually thought about what the word meant, I wouldn’t say it near as much.
Here’s an uncensored, profanity-laced rant from Louis C.K. about how we waste words like awesome. Sorry for the profanity, but it’s spot on. Read more
It’s definitely not “She sells seashells by the seashore.”
So what is the world’s trickiest tongue-twister?
According to MIT researcher Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel (speaking of tongue twisters), the world’s trickiest tongue-twister is this:
I’m not trying to do that today, by the way.
I just thought, you know, that words are powerful, and a lot of us make instant judgments, both good and bad, after just a sentence or two or reading. First impressions apply to blogs too.
So what are some opening sentences that might turn your readers away quickly?
Every now and then on this blog, we’ll step out of the world of books and into a world that makes the world of books possible. That would be the world of words. Words.
We’ve talked about annoying words and disgusting words and even pleasant words. And, of course, since this is an English-speaking blog, I focus on English words.
Today, let’s take a look at impossible-to-spell words. Or at least words that I find impossible to spell.
These aren’t words like pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis or even floccinaucinihilipilification (both actual words) that I couldn’t be expected to spell if you gave me 24 hours and one of those wild-eyed spelling bee kids, like this girl, as a tutor.
These are simple words, words that we’ve heard and written all our lives. But for some reason, these words are the bane of my spelling existence. I simply can’t put the letters in the right order.
I like words. Some words, though, are gross. In fact, we talked about disgusting words a couple of weeks ago.
But the English language, fortunately, is not only comprised of nastiness. Yes, it does indeed have some beautiful words that either flow off the tongue or bring humor to the part of the brain that deals with humor (I’m not a science major, so work with me here).
With that in mind, today I present to you five words that make me smile. May we begin?