Category Archives: Wednesday Word

A Casual Post

Gum-chewing drives some people to distraction, while split infinitives irritate others. One idiosyncratic bee in my own bonnet is the meaning of casualties. I’ve even taken a stand on the issue. Some years ago, I wrote a letter to National … Continue reading

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Sub Rosa

On Monday, I shared the secret ingredient in my coffee cake with you all. Don’t tell my housemates, because they shun yogurt and sour cream. Mention using bacteria in order to “culture” milk? You should see the looks on their … Continue reading

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Seeking an End

Like the books I read, Wednesday Words are somewhat randomly chosen, today’s especially so. Over the weekend, I ran across a video of the 60s Australian folk group The Seekers singing “I Know I’ll Never Find Another You.” The concert … Continue reading

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A Sense of Humors

From ancient times well into the 19th century, Westerners believed that four bodily fluids governed human personality and health. These fluids, called humors, derived from the four elements–earth, fire, water, and air—because these four elements composed everything. The Latin word … Continue reading

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A Humorous Post

The medieval apothecary could not be trusted to prepare prescriptions correctly, remember? (We wrote about this here a couple of weeks ago.) While he might substitute an equally effective medication, he might instead slip a cheaper, even poisonous herb into … Continue reading

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The Day the Sun Stands Still

Today is the day the sun stops. Ever since September, as the sun gradually moved south in the sky, the daylight has ineluctably become briefer and the darkness has lengthened. In the culmination of that journey, the night lingers for … Continue reading

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Caveat Emptor

My sister reports Latin-related Jeopardy questions (oops, I mean “answers”) to me, the former Latin teacher. She told me that Monday’s show ended with the category “Latin Phrases.” Here’s the clue: “Originally, this 3-word phrase referred to when a doctor … Continue reading

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A Christogram

I promised a while back to explain why Xmas is not “taking the Christ out of Christmas.” This spelling doesn’t need to be controversial or offensive. The X may look as though it’s eliminating Christ. People may think that modern, … Continue reading

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Kalends, Calendars, and Intercalation

Our word calendar comes from the Latin word kalendae, or kalends, which named the first day of the month. (For a while, Latin used k instead of c before the letter a. Try not to pay attention to this right … Continue reading

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A Compositor Put All This Together

It’s time for leaf-raking in Northeast Ohio, or for “leaving the leaves,” if you’re ecologically inclined. Leaving the leaves brings thoughts of composting, which is a good use for them. And composting brings to mind its verbal cousins compose, composite, … Continue reading

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