Road Trip with Dad to Lincoln’s Birthplace

In 1976, Dad and I took a road trip to Indianapolis. On the way, we detoured to Hodgenville, Kentucky, so we could visit the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. Dad’s ancestors, the Cradys, used to live next door to the Lincolns, and donated some of the land for that first Lincoln memorial. According to the history book, … More Road Trip with Dad to Lincoln’s Birthplace

Top 10 Perfectly Nice Words that Sound Offensive

Peace, writer peeps! Last month’s crazy response to my using a single word (shh…it was feminist) got me thinking about David Howard, and the trouble a single word made for him. In February of 1999, David Howard, an aide to Washington DC’s then-mayor Anthony Williams, publicly used the word niggardly. Niggardly means “stingy.” Williams used the word … More Top 10 Perfectly Nice Words that Sound Offensive

Functional Shifting in Grammar: Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Hi Writer Peeps! Today’s blog is about words and phrases that usually identify as one part of speech, but step out and play another role from time to time. I like to think of these as “transgrammars.” Other grammarians–stuffy sorts–call them functional shifts. The thing about functional shifts is that we get used to seeing … More Functional Shifting in Grammar: Not that there’s anything wrong with that.