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Word of the Week


New Words of the Week & A THOUGHT

Not to get too personal, but for the first time, both my daughters are going away on their own Spring Break trips without me!  Exhibit C left for the West Coast on her Glee Club Spring Tour, and Exhibit B is going on a classic senior year vacation to the Carribbean — with friends and no adults.  So, I’m thinking about holidays, and my four words this week are a reflection thereof.


Vote as often as you like.

My thought:  (It’s actually not mine, but belongs to my goddaughter, Emma.)  Emma just had a little trouble convincing the clerk at her local AT&T store that she wanted to exchange her  iPhone to a thingy that was just …. a phone.  She no longer wanted to to be emailed or tempted to email or read her Facebook or whatever when she’s out of the house.  The clerk kept using the word downgrade.  Emma says her life has only improved since she downgraded her thingy.  She is much more in control of her time, and how she uses it.  I’m considering doing the same.  It sounds like an intriguing experiment, in any case.

Your thoughts on this, dear friends?

I will enjoy the quiet while my wholly-owned subsidiaries are away, though I miss them like crazy.




Word of the Week Winner, & Another Thing

BEHOLD!  The Ambivalent Weimaraner!

Weimaraner was the overwhelming winner this week, but ambivalent held its own. 

Online, ambivalence is depicted with the usual “Am I ambivalent?  Yes and no” buttons, billboards, and posters.  Clever the first time, predictable thereafter.  There is evidently a German singer called Ambivalent who looks fully male to me.  This stock photo is meant to explain ambivalence:

(I think she’s German as well.)

Having met the great Weimaraner photographer William Wegman not too long ago, I feel ambivalent about using one of his images without permission.  But hey, they’re fab so why not?

You realize of course that the weimaraner gets its name from the Weimar republic in Germany.  I got my name from Germany too.

Now onto the other thing:

Being the disciplined [from the German side] contest provider (as opposed to content provider) that I mean to be, as I was trolling both Facebook pages to count the entries, I found that all mentions of this week’s Word of the Week had evaporated!!!  It took a number of attempts to forage in the history of mentions to find them.  WHAT THE HELL, ZUCKERBERG?

Has this happened to you?  Oh Facebook, sometimes I just want to quit you. 

Let me know if you want more Word Of the Weeks.  The numbers of participants is growing, but the technical part is wearying.  Post here or on FB.

Bow wow,




Word of the Week #3: Rhymes with clamorous, glamorous

Definition of AMOROUS



 strongly moved by love and especially sexual love






 being in love 



 —usually used with 




of the girl>

Gosh it was close.  I was impressed by how many of you voted for Dopamine, which frankly would have been easier to illustrate, in its way:  

And wow, is that powerful stuff!

 In any case, you are all way more romantic than you or your partner admits.  This vote is the proof.   Remember that being amorous on the 364 non-Valentine’s Days is more romantic than sending a bouquet on that one February day.  

And now, your words of the week #4:

Altitude.  Whippoorwill.  Application.  Streetwalker.  

Please vote.  It’s Presidents’ Weekend, after all.





If you were a regular listener to my old radio program, (I like the British spelling “programme” but that’s pretentious for a native New Yorker.) you might remember a regular feature called ‘The Word of the Week.’  

It started when one of the executives of the network called me out on my language.  ”But I’ve never sworn or used foul language,” I said.  That wasn’t the problem.  I was told my language was a little too… um… upscale, highfalutin, polysyllabic.  Hmm.  Could I simplify my speech for my listeners?  

Frankly, I thought it was insulting to the audience, so what I did was start a contest, the Word of the Week, in which people could vote on their favorite word.  We had a website, and people could vote on their favorite word out of 4 or 5 nominees. It was a lark at first.  Schenectady was the first winner, and a woman in the City Hall of Schenectady, NY accepted the award over the phone.  But over time it grew to be a favorite with listeners and we often got guest submissions from them.

You might like a word because of the way it sounds.  You may like what it means.  It doesn’t matter.  The point is to have fun.

So now, because I miss that old show and the interactions it fostered, I’m bringing back The Word of the Week.  Please vote, and as they say in Chicago and New Orleans, vote early and often. The winner will be announced Saturday, February 4th.

Drumroll, please.

  • Matterhorn
  • Consequence
  • Parachute
  • Dumpling

If someone knows how to put a counter thingy here, great.  I’d love that.