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Preview: The Word Guy - ArcaMax Publishing

The Word Guy - ArcaMax Publishing

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Copyright: Copyright 2017 ArcaMax Publishing

Time for a 'Fulsome' Court Press


Oyez, Oyez! The Superior Court of Usage Trends in the United States (SCUTUS) is now in session. Case No. 1 -- Fulsome Meaning "Full" vs. Fulsome Meaning "Excessive" Plaintiff: While "fulsome" once meant "copious, generous," about 150 years ago...

The Warp and Woof of Words


The act of writing is often compared to weaving cloth. After all, both crafts involve blending linear elements -- lines of words and threads of fabric -- to produce useful and beautiful creations. So we "fabricate" stories, "spin" yarns and "...

Is Having Two Meanings a Plus?


Don't get me started on the misuse of "nonplussed." In fact, don't even put the key in the ignition ... or swipe the fob, or press the button or whatever they're doing to start cars these days. After all, here was this nice, wholesome word "...

Is Trump Beyond Comparison? Hardly


Political commentators have spewed a spate of disparaging metaphors to describe President Donald Trump: "drunk uncle," "dumpster fire," "wrecking ball," "carnival barker," "human Molotov cocktail." But what many of these commentators miss is ...

We Shouldn't Damn -- or Dam -- English


"What's happening to the English language?" I hear that question often -- from readers, friends, relatives, colleagues, even my plumber. Their queries, of course, reflect different concerns. Some complain about grammatical errors ("Me and him ...

Unzipping the Origins of 'Fly'


Why is the zippered opening on a pair of pants called a "fly"? Before you start speculating about body parts lurking near the fly or bodily functions occurring though it, you'll be glad to know that the origin of this "fly" has nothing to do ...

Evaluating the X 'Factor'


When a severe ice storm delayed the start of an NFL playoff game in January, a reporter wrote in a game preview, "Weather already has played a factor in the Steelers-Chiefs divisional-round AFC-playoff game." "Has played a factor"? Something ...

Teachers Told Him To Kick 'But'


Q: When I was in grade school, we were taught one NEVER begins a sentence with "And" or "But." Can you offer a definitive statement on this roiling controversy? I also have another question: When is it proper to use "further" and/or "farther"? ...

Let's Go 'Para'-sailing!


Q: What is the meaning of the prefix "para-" as in "paragraph," "paralegal," "paradox" and "parasol"? I read your column each Saturday in our local newspaper. I always look forward to the last PARAgraph for a chuckle. -- Lorraine Enlow, ...

Become a Blizzard Wizard!


"Blizzard!" Perhaps no English word better suits its meaning. Its "bl" sound evokes the violence of "blast," "blaze" and "blitz"; its "izz" sound imitates the whizz and sting of snow slicing into our faces; and the visual slant of its double "...