Oh My Word! Scrabble Goes Crazy

by Kevin Burton    If you read this column often you know I’m a Scrabble player. Guess I’ve become an old Scrabble player.    I used to laugh at my mom because she objected to some of the new words in the Scrabble Players’ Dictionary. I’m not laughing anymore.    I have the sixth edition …

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 …

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 …

My ABCs: C Is For Communication

by Kevin Burton    So I had this great idea for a series, my ABCs.    Take the words that letters stand for in kindergarten, A for apple, B for ball, etc., and trade them in for the words that seem more appropriate after years and years of experience in life.    I started this …

A Few Words For March Madness Fans

by Kevin Burton    You hear the word “hoops” what comes to mind?    Are you thinking earrings? Are you thinking bureaucracy, extra obstacles you have to jump through? Or are you thinking basketball?    No right answer to this, we try to appeal to all types of readers here. But for me, it’s basketball. …

Wordle Is A Thing, But I Better Not

by Kevin Burton    There’s a new game, it’s a craze actually, called Wordle.    You have heard of it no doubt. Two of my favorite bloggers wrote about Wordle on back to back days this week. That qualifies it as a craze for me, I don’t get out much.    Here’s an explanation of …