Wednesday, February 22, 2017

100th Wordplay Wednesday™ February 22, 2017 – Monoglot

100 is Great but 1 is Enough 

These days it isn’t merely beneficial, it’s nearly a necessity to speak more than one language. Silly me … I quit French in high school, oh so many years ago, to pick up another business class.

My crystal ball failed to show me how much languages would soon be such a gigantic asset in business. Story of my life. I can, however, still converse in Pig Latin; though I could use a little brush-up course. 馃槒

For Wordplay Wednesday’s 100th anniversary week, I chose an appropriate example. Note that even the dictionary seems to deride in tone, those who are not language-ambidextrous*; and only the lonely are a …

MONOGLOT (m盲n使艒 gl盲t’) adj.– speaking or writing only one language; n. a monoglot person. [WW #100.] 

While I have not opted to learn a second language, lexicology can often seem foreign. I refuse, however, to feel inferior for preferring to work toward mastering English. This monoglot holds her English head high, albeit a little crooked, in her word eccentricities.  

It should count that I often pick up on other languages through fun phrases and less crass sounding cuss words. Besides—why would I want to confuse myself with another set of grammarrules I don’t agree with? Being a monoglot has its advantages.

If I were to learn another language at this late date, I’d choose Gaelic. Why? It’s that of my heritage, plus it isn’t as prevalent as others, thus needs a little preservation boost. (And I’d like to know what those pesky Leprechauns are saying about me!)

Seriously though. If you have a hankering to visit another country, or think your business exploits may benefit with at least a conversational skill in an alternate language, or you simply love to learn—you are never too young or too old.

L'apprentissage est l'essence de la vie … Learning is the essence of life.

Cheers to our 100th Wordplay Wednesday!

Word Challenge: MONOGLOT. Enjoy mastering your language with pride and proficiency as you fit monoglot into your week of meaningful writings.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle)


*For those who have not read my column before, yes, I know I use words out of context and play with their meanings. Hence, the title “Wordplay.” If you can’t have fun in your own language, how can you appreciate another?

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wordplay Wednesday™ February 15, 2017 – Sundog

Short ‘n’ Sweet and Quite Bright!  

Fun in the sun is still months away
   but that’s what reveries are for
Close your eyes and plan today
   with words of sunny seashores … (L.Rochelle)

SUNDOG (-d么g使) n. – a bright, sunlike optical illusion caused by sunlight passing through ice crystals in the upper atmosphere; parhelion. [WW #99.]

Or … in laymen’s terms: “a bright spot to the left and/or right of the Sun.” (Thank you Wiki!) And you thought they were just lucky snaps of your camera.
"Sun Dog Painting" Stockholm 1535
Word Challenge: SUNDOG. Dream a lovely dream or grab your camera and snap a sundog, one of nature’s incredible phenomena. Can you fit sundog into your week of sunny writings?


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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wordplay Wednesday™ February 08, 2017 – Excuse Reason

2-fer Wordplay! No Apologies … 

Every now and then it’s good to step away from the norm and explore where few men and women dare to go … the subtleties of the English language.

It’s happened to the best of us—and of late, the worst. Confronted with criticism or need of defense (think negative viral Twitter rants), we stammer apologetically or backtrack hypocritically. These days, rarely do we “own” our statements.
This points to a seldom explored problem of our language. Too many times we speak without thinking (again, Twitter), or knowing, the vital difference between two similar words. One can be weak and defensive, the other strong and decisive. Shouldn’t you know the dissimilarity?

When confronted, do you make an …

EXCUSE: (ek sky艒艒s使) n. – 1) a plea in defense of or explanation for some action or behavior, [i.e.] apology; 2) a release from obligation, duty, etc.; 3) something that excuses …; 4) a pretended reason for conduct, [i.e.] pretext … well, you get the idea! [2-fer WW #98; bolding and underline are mine.]

OR offer a logical … 

REASON: (r膿使z蓸n) n. – 1) an explanation or justification of an act, idea, etc.; 2) a cause or motive; 3) the ability to think, form judgments, draw conclusions, etc.; 4) sound thought or judgment, [i.e.] good sense; 5) normal mental powers, [i.e.] a sound mind, sanity … wow. [2-fer WW #98.]

While often used interchangeably to clarify a comment or action, according to Webster, these are two very different words. One is a pathetic pretense, the other is resolute in its logic and strength.

Many of you who think you have a reason, are truly offering only an excuse. Others are told to quit giving lame excuses, when they actually have a valid reason.

Perhaps it’s in the delivery. Have you thought of that?  

If your voice raises an octave or two in response (and yes, oddly enough that can also be detected on Twitter), and sounds like it’s pinched between two four-hundred-pound weights, even if you have a valid reason, it will be perceived as a whiny excuse.

Consider carefully, the subtle differences between an excuse and a reason—which one best expresses the method to your madness? Or, is silence truly golden and no explanation is better than an excuse?

That leaves your reason in the hands—and minds—of others. If you don’t speak, others will squeak for you. (Yes, I meant “squeak.” It will be their whiny excuse offered in place of your possible good reason.)

We all know the adage “think before you speak”* (or act). Oh, so much easier said than done! Alternatively, know that what you’re saying could be misconstrued and be ready with your reason for saying it—a well thought out and logical motive. (Well, it is in your mind anyway. J)

The best defense of word or action is confidence in your reasons. Give them credence and validity, with a firm, calm voice and viable justification.

Want to be taken seriously in your job, relationship, or dreams? Provide a substantial reason, not an erratic excuse.

Word Challenge: EXCUSE or REASON? You’ll enjoy life more without excuses, when you own your reasons. Have fun applying these very different words to your week of inexcusable writings.


*This is an especially poignant comment on bullying and not thinking before speaking; an article by Jill Tomac, “Think Before You Speak: 5 Ways to Help You Choose Your Words Wisely,” on Maria Shriver’s website, Igniting Architects of Change.

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