Category Archives: word tasting notes


When the summer is here, it’s time to chill some beer (or lemonade, or other drink). But as the days grow dimmer, the time is just… chillsome.

I suppose a word like this would be likely to kill (or make ill) some who have no chill about the language. Others would receive it with a surreptitious sniff as when you pass them a book they suspect to be old and basement-scented. But which is it, lately invented or long aged? Continue reading


Coworker is a funny word. It’s often misread, sometimes accidentally, sometimes on purpose. And while I love a good double entendre, in my editorial role as a professional clarifier I feel it is worthwhile inserting a hyphen to make it clear what it really is: cow-orker. Continue reading

vetust, vetusty

Yes, I am vetust. I am the vetustest. I am wallowing in vetusty. I am vested in fully as many years as a deck of cards has, well, cards (not including jokers). I am perhaps a veteran of years, but only arguably venerable. Jag vet det. Continue reading

censor, censer, censure

When is it sensible to censure – or censor – something incendiary? Can we not be candid without someone getting burned? At what point does inflammatory speech and the smoke of burning crosses make a more offensive incense than the scent of burning books? For that matter, what is and is not censorship? Continue reading


The opening words of Brahms’s Deutsches Requiem, breathing in as a barely felt but well-needed touch in a quiet moment, are “Selig sind, die da Leid tragen, denn sie sollen getröstet werden.” In English, we know that line from Matthew 5:4 as “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Those who need solace shall have it. Continue reading


Some days lately it’s almost impossible not, by the end of the day, to be stunkard. However bright and chirpy you may arise in the donzerly light, by the gathering of the gloaming you are gloomy and ready for a cup or two or seven and a half of analgesic, anaesthetic, or liquor of lethe. Continue reading


A fenester is a fenster in the fenestration allowing a finesse from the sinister finster infinity to the fine and friendly finite interior. Continue reading