Thursday, January 28, 2016

Silence of the Limns

There's this word limn that isn't exactly widely used, or even widely known, but somehow I've seen it used at least three times in the last week. If I believed in signs, I would take that as a sign that I should write about it.

And I'm going to write about it anyway.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Writing Prompt: Another Childhood Memory Reclaimed

I won't claim to understand in the slightest the whole bronies thing — adult men who follow My Little Ponies with more energy and spending money than its target audience of little girls. Now coloring books for adults are landing on best-seller lists. (I understand this more — the almost meditative act of filling in white space and the urge to create.)

That leaves me wondering, what's next?

Friday, January 22, 2016


The accepted story is that, in certain Confederate prison camps during the American Civil War, a line would be drawn around the prisoners' area. POWs who dared to pass beyond that line would risk being shot dead. Thus, the line came to be called the dead line.

Deadlines these days are moments in time, not in space.

A deadline is also the reason this post appears today and not yesterday, when I normally write about a word. Yesterday — well, all week, really — I was working against a deadline on a particularly frustrating and difficult freelance copy editing project. I finished it late last night but, truth be told, I did take a small step across that deadline.

So today, I am thankful not only that such an aggravating project is out of my hands, but that I haven't had me kneecaps shot off, either.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

New Word Thursday: apricity

The Midwest — my personal environs — experienced some of its first truly winter-like weather of the season this week, including snow, ice, school delays, and idiot drivers sliding off the road. One bright spark is that I was exposed to a pleasant word I didn't know: apricity.*

From the Latin word aprīcus, "warmed by the sun," apricity is a noun meaning "the warmth of the sun in winter." It's the type of hyper-specific word for a poetic concept that I just love to discover. It just sounds like a word that belongs in a Shakespearean sonnet.

Apricity led me on an exploration of other little-used winter-weather words, like psychrophile, chionoblepsia, and frigorific. I wrote about these an a gaggle of others yesterday on in a post called "Underused Words for Winter Weather." Check it out.

Logophilius Central

* Thanks, Mom.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

New Word Thursday: pelf

Stemming from Old French and related to the word pilfer, pelf is filthy lucre or ill-gotten riches. I found it the other day when someone worked it into a limerick.

Naturally, I couldn't wait to try that myself:

A Christian man, godly and selfless,
Who was powerful, pious, and pelfless,
Lost the fans on his side
On the day that he tried
To make all of our Christmases elfless.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year, New Job, New Goals

I'm not a big fan of new year's resolutions. My go-to resolution, if people ask, is simply this: to not break my new year's resolution. I'm not sure whether that qualifies as tautological, paradoxical, or both, which is why I like it.

But this year, some things came together to make the start of the 2016 a true new beginning for me.