The Homonym List

Writing about puns got me thinking about homonyms, which made me think of The Homonym List. My little sister was a math kid. She used to put pictures of the math books she had finished in the photo cover of her school binder, where most people put pictures of horses or Christian Slater. (Did I just dateContinue reading “The Homonym List”

Pretty Beautiful

“It’s so pretty! Wow, it’s so beautiful! Look at that, it’s so pretty! Isn’t it beautiful? Oh, PRETTY!!!” That was me, age ten, hiking with my family at Mt. Rainier. “It’s just so beautiful. Oh wow, it’s so pretty!” This went on for a long time. Everyone got very tired of my inarticulate gushing. That’sContinue reading “Pretty Beautiful”

Ze is awesome: adventures with gender-neutral pronouns

English is missing a word. (Well, probably many words.) However, this is a really useful word: it’s a gender-neutral singular pronoun for people. In the good-old-boy days, they just said “he” but that’s not cool anymore, nor should it be. “It” is gender-neutral, but also implies a lack of humanity. “He or she” is correctContinue reading “Ze is awesome: adventures with gender-neutral pronouns”

I Hominid All Over the Place

So I was teaching my students about the word root of the word human a while back.  You guys, it’s really cool.  Did you know that the words human, humble, humus, hominid, humility, and humiliate all come from the root humus/homo, which means soil? Even linguistically, humanity goes back to the earth. I was waxingContinue reading “I Hominid All Over the Place”