• Poetry, Prose, Praise, Prayer

    My old blog, the Word of the Day, is defunct, and I’m getting ready to take it down. Before I do, though, I’m going to repost some of the best words here over the next few weeks. Enjoy! Poetry, Prose Poetry began life as the Proto Indo European root kwoiwo, meaning “making”. It entered Greek… Continue reading

  • Language and Gender: the New English Pronoun

    Something in the English language is changing, but not many people have noticed it. Maybe a teacher, here or there, has noticed it on one of their student’s papers, and thought it was an error. Or a pundit has railed against it in their column, or someone has written an angry note about it on… Continue reading

  • Hearing the Song of the World

    A couple of days ago I read one of those books that reaches deep into your heart and wrenches you. I was in my daughter’s brand-new first grade classroom, and the first big meeting between the class parents and the teacher was over, and people were milling around and talking and getting to know each… Continue reading

  • French: la langue de l’amour?

    In (belated) honor of Valentine’s Day, I present to you an hommage to the language of love. (I really shouldn’t do this, and I feel guilty about it. As a linguist, I value all languages highly and respect them as monuments to human culture and innovation. On top of that, French really is a lovely… Continue reading

  • Possible New Celtic Language Discovered

    I always get excited about new linguistic discoveries. This new discovery isn’t certain yet, and the final linguistic consensus may not arrive for decades, but it’s an exciting possibility anyway. Continue reading

  • One Little Taboo Word…

    Quite some time ago I wrote about taboo words and euphemisms, and what they can tell us about a society. The gist is that a taboo word is one which causes offense, for whatever reason. If you identify the taboo words in a languge, you can find some of the more sensitive parts of a… Continue reading

  • Neurolinguistic Programming: A Linguist Druid’s Review

    As I described in this previous post, one of the requirements of the Magic Spiral in the candidate year in the AODA is to learn about magic through reading and meditation. The books I selected to start with were three on “neurolinguistic programming” by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. I started with Bandler’s book, Use… Continue reading