Monthly Archives: September 2018

Did You Miss National Punctuation Day?

So did I. But the comedians honored it:

Today [September 24] was National Punctuation Day, and hopefully Bill Cosby is celebrating with a really long sentence.” — SETH MEYERS

“Weight Watchers is shortening its name to WW. Did you hear that? Which means that in the next Weight Watchers commercial, you’re going to see the name bragging about how it dropped 12 letters.” — JIMMY FALLON

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Abbreviations vs. Acronyms


When people see an abbreviation, many refer to it as an acronym, thinking they mean the same thing. They don’t.

You all know what an abbreviation is.  An acronym is also an abbreviation—but one that is pronounced as a word:


Snafu ( it lost the caps when it became a common word)

Scuba (ditto)

Fubar (ditto)

MOMA in New York and LACMA in Los Angeles

You’d never say “Oosuh” or “Yoosuh,” so USA is not an acronym, just an abbreviation.

All acronyms are abbreviations, but not all abbreviations are acronyms.

(If you’re not sure what snafu and fubar stand for, look them up in your online dictionary; there you will discover the slightly off-color meanings.)

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What Were They Thinking?

I was stopped at a light behind this behemoth of a vehicle and was stunned! stunned! I tell you, to see the name of the dealer that sold it. Infamous? Is the company unaware that infamous means the same as notorious, and both are strong negatives? They both mean famous but always in a very bad way. They are antonyms of famous. I hope the owner of this Escalade has good luck with it.



Filed under All things having to do with the English language

New Dictionary Entries

Recently, Merriam-Webster added 840 words to its dictionary. Many of the new words are related to food.

There’s HANGRY, feeling angry or irritable because you’re hungry. (Squishing words together, like hungry and angry to make hangry, creates a neologism.)

Have you eaten ZOODLES yet? You know: long strands of zucchini, prepared like noodles. Of course. I know you’ve eaten GUAC. To me, that sounds like someone is choking and needs the Heimlich maneuver. I refuse to turn guacamole into “gwock.” Are you a beer enthusiast? You just may be a HOPHEAD. If you are, have you ordered a FLIGHT of craft beers? That’s a selection of beers set in front of you for a taste test. (I did enjoy a flight of ice cream in Portland, Maine once, and I had no trouble walking steadily out of the store.)

As you’d expect, science and technology contributed their fair share of new words. AIRPLANE MODE made the cut; that’s the operating mode for your electronic devices that blocks wireless networks so you can’t send or receive messages. (I have to admit, I’ve forgotten to use airplane mode on more than one flight (not the beer or ice cream variety of flight, the Wright brothers’ kind) and the planes have not crashed.

INSTAGRAMMING, Merriam says, is now a verb, meaning “posting a picture to the Instagram photo-sharing app.” I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to say that word, but you feel free.

GENERATION Z, those kiddies born between the late ’90s and into the early 2000s, are fond of  many of the new words. You might say they have their FAVES.

RANDO refers to a person who isn’t immediately recognizable or whose company is not welcome.

You might consider this post a TIME SUCK, in which case I apologize. You are free to tell me, TLDR (too long, didn’t read). OK, that’s only 12 new words in the dictionary. Only 828  to go.

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I Wonder What the Job Title Is

My friend Fran couldn’t wait to tell me about the sign she saw on the back of an old pickup truck:

We Remediate Urine Damage

of Cats, Dogs, Rodents, Hoarders, Infestations

We Remediate Odor Damage 

on Sub floors/Concrete/Drywall/Carpet

BTW, if you think I should put a question mark at the end of my subject line, I will point out that even though I am questioning what the job title might be, it’s not a question. It’s a statement: I’m just saying I’m wondering about something.


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