Words For The Cranky And Disagreeable

by Kevin Burton    God help me not to resemble this post.    But today we tune into Merriam-Webster’s “19 words for the cranky and disagreeable,”part of the words at play column on its website. We will not get to all 19, but here are some of the more helpful terms as you seek to …

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, …

Of OSSB And A Bright Sunshiny Day

by Kevin Burton    How do you get to 50 years? It starts with a day, or a night.    Then, you turn your heart toward the sunrise, again and again.    There was a night when my parents put me into the family Delta 88 and drove me from our home in Yellow Springs …

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 …