Category Archives: Words

American Media: Stop Condoning the Corruption of Our Language

If you’re like me, there are a lot of things in the world that disturb you: economic issues, environmental issues, social issues, political issues; the list is long. If you have any interest at all in the ongoing survival of humanity, … Continue reading

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I love you, a bushel and a peck…a kenning and a quart…and a pint and a firlot?

A bushel? A peck? A dry quart? What exactly are these, and other common (and less common) units of measure? How do they compare to each other and to other common measures (such as a “wet” quart, or a liter)? … Continue reading

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Beneficiation: It probably doesn’t mean what you think it does.

Yes, I continue to encounter, investigate, and explain obscure words—so that you don’t have to! In this installment: beneficiation.

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A Little Practical Hawaiian

A couple of months ago I started putting together what I had expected would be a pair of posts to bookend my (long-planned and nearly cancelled) family vacation to Hawaii. The idea was that I would look at Hawaiian words … Continue reading

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Tour de force? Coup de grace? Maybe coup de force or tour de grace?

A weird error crossed my desk the other day and it was interesting enough that I’m devoting this post to it. You’ve probably encountered both of these phrases: coup de grace and tour de force. A coup de grace (the … Continue reading

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