Category Archives: language

Shared Experience, Shared Language: A Review of Lakoff and Johnson on Metaphor

Each of my efforts to write about George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By uncannily comprises a demonstration of its thesis. As I started to plan my review, I wrote, I am late to the dance—referring to the fact that the … Continue reading

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Our Whole Heart: Language and the Book of Common Prayer

Along with the King James Bible and the collected works of Shakespeare, the Book of Common Prayer has permeated the English language and given Anglophones worldwide some of our most beautiful and evocative phrases. Even the most secular among us get … Continue reading

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Ode to OED (and friends)

When I was a girl in the dusty mining town of Globe, Arizona, with the sulfur odor in the air when the wind blew from the west, our house had a living room, a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a bathroom … Continue reading

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Codifying Honor

I first saw the topic discussed on Facebook by the gay son of a dear Mormon friend. It then flooded the mainstream press, including ABC, CNN, Time, and the New York Times. I am referring to the noisy and–to me, at least–disturbing public controversy about the honor … Continue reading

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The Prison of “I Am”

For a number of years in my late twenties and early thirties, if I didn’t have a long, skinny, brown More cigarette between my lips or fingers, I was nonetheless enveloped in a malodorous, smoky haze that I am sure … Continue reading

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The Issue Issue

I can’t pinpoint when issue reared its euphemistic head and took the place of problem or difficulty in the general parlance, but the usage is now of epidemic proportion. The media are replete with sidebars about anger issues and relationship issues and weight issues. Students’ excuses for … Continue reading

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Customer Service

Regrettably, I spent thirteen years of my life working at Kmart. I sold shotguns and fishing rods and licenses to use both; I drilled bowling balls and hoisted 110-pound barbell sets into shopping carts; yes, I even announced Blue Light … Continue reading

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Bathroom Words

Since March 23, North Carolina has been embroiled in a war of words about the so-called “bathroom bill,” House Bill 2, whose most controversial—and, notably, most innocuous—provision states, “Local boards of education [and public agencies] shall require every multiple occupancy bathroom … Continue reading

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Gonnegtions

In the early 1980s, I was watching  an episode of Charles Kuralt’s Sunday Morning in which he chronicled the demise of an important family-owned newspaper. I’ll have to call it the Tribune because I have long since forgotten the newspaper and the family and … Continue reading

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