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How’s Your Spelling?


My most recent blog post was about saving words from extinction. This post is about saving words from mutilation. A reader recently sent me a picture taken at a local high school her son was attending. Fortunately her son was quick about his work because the sign was changed in a very short time, after all the sharp teachers and students also spotted the error.

What's especially funny is that the word principle was also misspelled in the Braille on that sign - they accurately misspelled principle, but the Braille introduces a new misspelling of the word assistant. Here's what the Braille should look like, with only principle misspelled:

I don't read Braille, but I can tell that their rendering of assistant does not match the correct Braille spelling of assistant. Any Braille readers want to comment?

That e-mail reminded me of other pictures of signs with misspellings in or near schools.

This next one is a classic.
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Save the Words!


Several TV commercials have recently reminded me of my ongoing mourning of the loss of some words from my native tongue. I decided to do a blog post about it. Each time a dictionary goes into a new version, in order to make room for new words that have been coined, the editors must consider dropping words that are seldom used by the public at large. The following are the kinds of words they look at:

vectarious = belonging to a wagon or carriage

jussulent = full of broth or soup

caliginosity = dimness

jollux = fat person

griseous = somewhat gray (Hey, I can now claim that word as my own!)

As I prepared for this post, I was surprised to learn about a website that's been set up to rescue words that may be dropped from dictionaries. The site is called Save the Words. On this site I learned that 90% of what people say is communicated with a total of only 7,000 vocabulary words. Below is a screenshot from that site:
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What’s Wrong with This Picture?


When I was a child I used to love those pictures where you had to try to find as many things wrong as you could. Now in my adult years I love even more pictures where there's something wrong, but not necessarily on purpose. Today's post is a series of pictures, each of which has something wrong with it.

I'll start off with some pictures related to food.


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As Time Goes By


Time is so elusive! It's hard to believe it's already April, and one-fourth of 2012 is gone, never to return. Recently our family celebrated the one year anniversary of a very big day — the wedding of Nora and Topher and the birth of Ryan. If you weren't following my blog then, you can read about the day in this post from last April.

Regarding the passage of time, it's even more amazing how different life is today from how it was in my youth, back in the last millennium. I must carefully consider stories I tell my classes since the frame of reference of my students is different from mine. Today's iv is a fun look at some of those changes. Some of you younger readers may have to ask an older person to explain some of this humor to you, while others won't.

I'll start off with a cartoon.

What a difference a few years makes!

Then: Long hair
Now: Longing for hair

Then: Moving to California because it's cool
Now: Moving to California because it's warm

Then: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
Now: Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor

Then: Hoping for a BMW
Now: Hoping for a BM

Then: Doctor, Mrs. Jones called and needs you to make a house call.
Now: Doctor, Mrs. Jones called and wants to know if you'll make a house call ... whatever that is.

Then: Going to a new, hip joint
Now: Getting a new hip joint
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Where Are the Proofreaders When You Need Them?


I've done about a dozen blog posts on newspapers and headlines, but papers continue to publish items that could not be funnier if they were trying to be humorous. Since my folder is so full of great newspaper gaffes that either eluded a proofreader or betray the absence of proofreaders, I will publish some every few weeks until that folder is empty. Many thanks to my blog readers for keeping me supplied!

I'll make no commentary, leaving that instead to the comments section. Now on to today's fun, some of which might require careful reading. WARNING: make sure you are in a place where you are free to laugh out loud at least several times!


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