Guest Post: “Created Words in Science Fiction — how do they work?” by Juliette Wade

I am currently away on an Internet Vacation. I’ll be back online on March 31. Today, in my absence, as a special treat, I am so pleased to have a guest post by my friend, and fellow Analog-writer, Juliette Wade In addition to being a wonderful writer of stories, Juliette is also a linguist by […]

Using words

I take some occasional heat from friends, family and coworkers for my vocabulary. There are, it seems, times when I use a word that those around me are unfamiliar with. I am asked what the word means, and give the definition to the best of my ability and then try to move on. It is […]

Fu(n)ky Monkey

There are some thing that I knew I wouldn’t be very good at as a parent. This afternoon was an example of one of them. I was changing the Little Man’s diaper and he asked for his monkey, which he saw sitting off to one side of the room. I got it for him and […]

Continuing adventures of the Little Z-Man

The Little Man is communicating more and more every day. Today I noticed he had adjectives. He knows when something is hot, for instance. If he has food that is hot, he’ll say, “Hot!” and he’ll make like he’s blowing on it. He does the same thing if he feels the heat coming in through […]

The SHAPE of things to come

Sometimes I am taken aback by how quickly the Little Man is learning things. I mean I am made virtually speechless. When Kelly and I go to pick him up from school, we sometimes watch him play for a little while before going into the classroom. If he sees us, he stops what he’s doing […]

Where daddy speaks about the Little Man speaking

ecause I haven’t written about the escapades of the Z-man in nearly a week, I felt that a post was overdo. t seems like the Z-man’s language is expanding in some Hubble-like function. I picked him up from school earlier in the week and his teacher told me that he is constantly saying “Please” when […]

Using words

My friend Monica used the word “prophylactic” in its classical sense (meaning “preventative”) the other day and it got me thinking about using words and the flack I occasionally take for my vocabulary. When you read a lot, you can’t avoid learning lots of words. When you write, it’s an occupational hazard. And it just […]

Two new phrases

The Little Man’s vocabulary is expanding by the minute. Two new multi-word phrases emerged just this evening. The first is “Help, please!” We taught him this as an alternative to whining. He likes playing with the vacuum cleaner and not five minutes after learning the phrase, he said, “Help, please!” when he couldn’t get a […]

Language explosion

I am behind on my posts on the Little Man, who is coming up on 20 months. I tried really hard to keep a list of all his words as he said them, but he’s had such a language explosion in the last few weeks that I’ve lost track and will never catch up. He […]

Ah, linguistics!

I’m not sure why I find linguistics and language so fascinating, but I do. I started reading Steven Pinker’s Words and Rules this morning and quickly discovered what the book was about. Quote from the preface: This book tries to illuminate the nature of language and mind by choosing a single phenomenon and examining it […]

The Language Instinct

I finished Steven Pinker’s The Language Instinct this afternoon and I thought it was terrific. I never thought I would find grammar and language so fascinating, but Pinker hooked me and I am eager to start the next book, Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language. The Language Instinct convinced me to ease up on […]

Contranyms are cool!

From my almanac, while waiting for a meeting to start, I discovered contranyms, which are words that have opposite meanings depending on their context. Some examples: cleave: “to split apart” or “to stick together”. clip: “to cut” or “to fasten”. sanction: “approval” or “punishment”. screen: “to shield” or “to present”. trim: “to cut away” or […]

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