WORDOLOGY

By and large, the posts in the Who Knew? category of this menu mine the interest in individual words or terms, from algorithm to hoosegow to yuppie. One post ventures into another language – to wit, French, the source of more of our words than we realize (complete with a with a list of those that were never anglicized) and another to the town of Boonville, California, whose townspeople spawned a language all their own (ever heard of Boontling?).

In Little Lessons are notes on vocabulary-building, precision in one’s choice of words, euphemisms, wordiness, acronyms, and more. The spoken word is explored in the Pronounce This! category, with bugbears that include banal, either, and forte — the last an example of how pronouncing a word correctly can make you look like either a pretentious twit or a show-off.