I’ve been in the car a lot lately. In fact, almost all of my writing time has been spent driving. I always hope that those hours in the car could be...
Word Matters Articles
A Word for Home
Sep 4, 2022
House, home, dwelling, residence… I’ve been thinking about the nuances of these words and why the distinctions matter.
Character-Driven Fiction: Perspective & Empathy
Apr 9, 2022
Character-driven fiction can change the way we see the world by helping us practice looking from a different perspective. It’s possible in any genre.
Noah Webster, Demoralized
Sep 6, 2014 | Word Matters
Last weekend, I visited Dearborn, MI — specifically, the Henry Ford [museum] and Greenfield Village. Lots of interesting old cars and so on in the museum, as you'd expect. (My favorites: the Bugatti and the X-Prize winner.) Greenfield Village was good, too. The...
Philology & Logophilia
Aug 21, 2014 | Word Matters
One of Dictionary.com’s words of the day last week was “philology.” An interesting word. The second definition given, which is the more familiar one now, is “the study of literary texts and of written records” – usually related to determining meaning, authenticity,...
The Back Streets of Vocabulary
Mar 16, 2014 | Word Matters
Learning new words is something profound. A new word can bring a new idea into focus. Vocabulary is the foundation of thought. There doesn't seem to be a standard answer to "how many words are there in the English language". The problems with counting are pretty...
Backpacking Across the Thesaurus
Jan 25, 2014 | Word Matters
The way words filter through languages and culture and history is fascinating. Sometimes they gain nuance as they evolve, and sometimes they lose it. Tonight’s realization, prompting this little jot, is that knapsack, rucksack, and haversack – which most English...