Category Archives: Linguistics

Just a skosh

Elsewhere today, somebody used the word skosh in a blog comment, although he spelled it scoce. It took me a second to recognize it, at which point it occurred to me that I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen the … Continue reading

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Xenorepulsive

In my continuing quest to muddy the evolutionary waters of English, I offer the word “xenorepulsive.” I was discussing with my wife today the issue that “racist” has become an increasingly broad, and hence useless, word. Liberals tend to use … Continue reading

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Refudiate

Sarah Palin has brought herself attention recently by following in the footsteps of George Bush: By mashing two words together. Specifically, she tweeted that peaceful Muslims ought to refudiate something or other with regards to the proposed mosque near Ground … Continue reading

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Nuncation

Yesterday, somebody I know mused about the antonym of procrastinate. There isn’t a verb I’m aware of for doing something immediately or for doing something before it’s due. However, it’s possible to build one. Procrastinate comes from Latin. Pro- means … Continue reading

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Let’s do start

Yesterday, I was discussing the German imperative with my wife. Due to habits formed in high school and college language courses, we tend to use the formal version of imperatives even with our toddler unless we think about it (for … Continue reading

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English modals and negation

English modals are a strange enough beast among themselves, but adding in negation leads to especially treacherous waters. This post will restrict itself to the four most common, and possibly most confusing: May, can, must, and have to. May “May” … Continue reading

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