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.


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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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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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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December 2, 2022 |

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

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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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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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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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November 4, 2022 |

Catercorner is an older version of a more common word that has a convoluted history to explain a modern meaning.

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October 27, 2022 |

Even if you’ve known the name of these common security devices, did you know where the word comes from?

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October 21, 2022 |

Warning: The week’s vocabulary explanation may not be quite as satisfying as you hope. In fact, it might leave you hankering for more.

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October 13, 2022 |

I will confess that this word came to me when my attempt to enjoy a quiet meal in a restaurant failed due to a mammothrept.

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October 6, 2022 |

The pronunciation of this word might surprise you, but that will help you understand its connection to its commonly used sibling.

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