Thursday, December 8, 2016

Health, Heart, Brexiting, and Begging the Question in a Post-Truth America

Business continues to translate into busy-ness (did I mention that I was promoted to managing editor at The Saturday Evening Post?), and, for better or worse, blogging here lands pretty low on my to-do list. But that doesn't mean I'm not writing! Here are some things for you to look at over at

It's thing-of-the-year season, and some dictionaries got an early start on naming their words of the year. Collins Dictionaries (which is British) gave Brexit the top spot. Oxford Dictionaries (also British) chose post-truth, which I hadn't even heard until Oxford brought it up. I'm not sure it deserves to be word of the year, but it is certainly one of the most important ideas of 2016. (Here's a post by Erin Brenner about it.)
They say every blog post should have an image, so here's
a random one from my Misc. file. It's a bunny.

Both of those words bear the taint of politics. I avoid politics every chance I get (and taints too, for that matter), and I know a lot of my readers are sick of politics as well, so I'm making the rest of this post a politics-free zone.

I can't promise it'll be taint-free, though.

I hope my American readers had a great Thanksgiving with people you loved and food you enjoyed. If you were like me, you pulled away from the table stuffed to the gills with roasted meats and mashed potatoes and immediately fell into a food coma. (And then caught a chest cold that gave you day-long headaches and ruined the rest of your four-day weekend.)

But on the off chance that you actually had a healthful meal, you might have watched Thanksgiving football feeling hale and hearty — both of which can be confused with their homophones hail and hardy. I wrote about these two homophonic pairs on November 23.

Which begs the question . . . but not really. As I wrote about earlier this week, begs the question is a phrase that has been so misused that its meaning may be on the verge of changing. Which is sad, I think, because begging the question has a very specific meaning that no other words in English can indicate so concisely.

If you click on only one of these links, make it that last one. Begging the question can be saved if only we learn how to use it correctly and pass that learning on.

Here's to 2016 ending soon.