Folks have asked for a reissue of this post, first published a few months ago, so here it is! Go Ahead, Make up New Words! Lexicographer Erin McKean recently gave a short, enthusiastic TED talk about language creativity, in which she encouraged her young audience to make up words.  Check it out here: She mentions […]

Irony is a very handy literary tool.  We learned about it in grade school when our teachers wanted to demonstrate how authors engaged us in their tales.  There was a twist, something unexpected, that surprised or fascinated and of course made us want to keep turning pages.  Short story legend O. Henry was a master […]

Valentine’s Day is coming up!  I don’t know about you, but my romantic heart is more touched by a personal note or card than by flowers or a gift. (though I wouldn’t sneeze at those either!)  Words AND gesture?  Perfect! If you don’t know what to say, you could, of course, rely on a standard […]