Spectacular Vernacular

Words amuse me. Many trace their origins back to the earliest languages in clear lineages. Others have evolved in fits and starts as people have twisted their meanings. Still others have been created in amusing ways.

My goal is to take what could be the dry topic of etymology and make it fun and entertaining with short vignettes on some spectacular vernacular.

Bafflegab

February 2, 2023 |

A horrid task, the annual income tax filing, looms over me as I struggle to comprehend governmental explanations filled with bafflegab.

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Marginalia

January 26, 2023 |

Remember back in your school days when you opened a text book to discover the previous owner scribbled some marginalia?

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Fissiparous

January 12, 2023 |

Ever wonder what the reproductive process of worms has in common with complex political alliances? Fissiparous is the answer.

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Decide

January 8, 2023 |

Why would I decide on such a simple word for this week’s Spectacular Vernacular? It’s the etymology that caught my attention.

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Feckless

December 29, 2022 |

Watching Asheville city leaders explain how 40,000 citizens can go without water for days raised my curiosity on the word feckless.

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Mondegreen

December 23, 2022 |

Writer Sylvia Wright loved the character of Lady Mondegreen so much that she refused to accept she never existed.

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Eggnog

December 17, 2022 |

Nothing makes holiday gatherings better than useless knowledge to share over drinks, like what exactly is the nog in eggnog.

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Evanescent

December 9, 2022 |

After a week of rain and dreary conditions, I’m ready for this normally evanescent weather to morph into some sunshine.

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Sophistry

December 2, 2022 |

People who employ sophistry use facts, figures, and logic skills, so their conclusions must be correct, right?

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Litotes

November 25, 2022 |

Don’t worry about this one. You may not know this week’s vocabulary word, litotes, but the literary device is not uncommon.

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Pumpernickel

November 17, 2022 |

Pumpernickel is a common type of bread, but the reason it qualifies for a Spectacular Vernacular segment is the etymology is a real gas.

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Elision

November 10, 2022 |

Elisions can be formal and poetic or found in informal everyday speech, so I’m tryin’ to give examples in today’s vocabulary post.

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