So Tomorrow, Is It Fall Or Is It Autumn?

by Kevin Burton     I hear you asking, should I say “fall” or “autumn” beginning tomorrow as the season changes?    I hear you asking this because my hearing is good. It’s my vision that isn’t so good.    Both my vision and hearing are selective, as my wife will tell you, and as you …

Who You Calling Stubborn? I’m Resolute!

by Kevin Burton    One adjective I have a hard time using properly is “stubborn.” I say it’s not a useful word.    It’s easier when I’m not talking about people, a stubborn stain I can’t get out of my jeans for example, or a stubborn headache I can’t get rid of. In that sense, …

Words Borrowed From Foreign Languages

by Kevin Burton    When I travel to foreign lands such as Mexico or Mississippi, I bring back souvenirs. I’m sure you do too in your travels.    Some of the souvenirs we bring back are words and phrases. Today we look at some favorites from the Merriam Webster dictionary. Their list is of words …

Speaking Of English, Speaking In British

by Kevin Burton    Not smashing, not daft, something mid-table I’d say, to use a football analogy.    I thought I was ready, so I had a go, with middling results.    Every day Merriam-Webster sends me an e-mail to help me watch my language.  A few weeks ago they announced “The Great British Vocabulary …

My Bilingual Doubletalk In Mexico

by Kevin Burton    My career as an English as a Second Language teacher came to an abrupt early end one night under the streetlights outside a small taco shop in Puebla.    To tell you how and why that happened, I first turn to BBC writer Nicole Chang, who recently wrote about what speaking …

Fruit Of The Spirit: Joy In Serving God

by Kevin Burton    The fruit of the Spirit is the outgrowth of a life surrendered to Jesus Christ and in consistent pursuit of His will.      Last month we went to Galatians 5:22-23 to look at that fruit (“Shopping For Fruit With Paul In Galatians,” June 12). We return to our series today to …

Words For Real Life Or For Scrabble

by Kevin Burton      “Scrabble” is not a German word meaning “one letter off,” that’s just my little joke.    Scrabble also at its essence is not a word game as commonly supposed, but a game of mathematics and strategic placement of little tile soldiers.    For the words used in scrabble aren’t words so …

Loud Arguments About Silent Letters

by Kevin Burton    When my parents issued me flash cards before kindergarten, I wondered why the work “knife” had a K in it when it didn’t do anything.     All these years later I hear from Merriam-Webster that not just e’s and k’s but all the letters of the English alphabet are silent at …

All The Letters Can Be Silent? Shut Up!

by Kevin Burton    Silent E is so famous it has a song, we all know about that one. We know how the letter e at the end of man, changes the word to mane, for example.    The silent e turns the a from short to long.    But did you know all the …

Hearing My Story In The Rock And Roll

by Kevin Burton    The stories, the images, the sound and fury of rock and roll, truly resonate when they hit close to home.    By now we have enough rocking sounds to fill the seven seas. The messages are all over the map. The sheer variety is breathtaking. Not every song will get in …