Blog Profile / A Walk in the Words

Filed Under:Academics / Linguistics
Posts on Regator:447
Posts / Week:1.3
Archived Since:December 8, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Travel Articles

I have added a page titled "Travel Articles" where I will soon be sharing some exciting exciting posts for the Hipmunk City Love Project. Please be sure to check back soon.


"The face of a child can say it all. Especially the mouth part of the face." - Jack Handey

No Interruptions, Please

Hilarious. I cam across this video while doing research for a reading class I am teaching.

I want to pass you and URNDWAY

While the contradiction itself is humorous, this photo also would have been a perfect photo to go with last Friday's post. Image via 22 Words.


My first thought upon seeing this plate from a distance was, "underway, cute and appropriate." As I got closer, I noticed I had mixed up the order of the letters initially. When I realized what it was intended to say, I had a good laugh. Show More Summary

A Variation on a Homonym

It's not a homonym; it is a drawmonym. From one of my favorite cartoonists, John Atkinson at Wrong Hands. A visual homonym: drawings that look the same but have different meanings.

The Heron Ate the Herring

Where did the red herring go? The red heron wasn't distracted by it; I believe the red heron ate it. The substitution of red heron for red herring is called an eggcorn. I came across this eggcorn in the wild yesterday on the geocaching...Show More Summary

Astounded, Shocked, Astonished, Confounded and Stupefied

That is how I felt when I learned that a Yahoo survey found one of the top ten most searched terms for 18- to 35-year-olds is: What is a synonym? Survey info via The Week magazine, September 13, 2013 Image credit:

Subway's Poor Portmanteau Choice

Am I the only one who has a problem with the name of Subway's new menu item? There are just too many options for the phonetic realization of the neologism. To start with, where are the syllable breaks? Is it fla/ti/za or flat/iz/a? Which...Show More Summary

SpecGram Essential Guide to Linguistics - A Book Review

No... Click here. I recently had the excruciating pleasure of reading an advance copy of The Speculative Grammarian's Essential Guide to Linguistics. For the rare few who are unfamiliar with Speculative Grammarian, it is, and I quote,...Show More Summary

Retronymic Tea

A retronym is a term consisting of a noun and a modifier which specifies the original meaning of the noun. Examples include: black and white television, acoustic guitar, cloth diaper, and bar soap.

Semantic Choices

Pick one or the other. A recent Wrong Hands comic that I enjoyed.

Stinky Portmanteaus

A semantically spot-on portmanteau - Spotted on If Companies Had Realistic Slogans at BuzzFeed.

For the Love of Math and Language

A mathematical limerick by Leigh Mercer - To be read as: A dozen, a gross, and a score Plus three times the square root of four Divided by seven Plus five times eleven Is nine squared and not a bit more. Mercer is most well known for creating the classic palindrome “A man, a plan, a canal — Panama!”. Spotted at Futility Closet.

Mass and Count Nouns - brought to you by Meijer

This is one of two themed billboards that has been peppering Michigan expressways this spring. The other looks almost identical, save for the final noun phrase which replaces fewer stops with less run-around. I don't think it is any coincidence that the two separate billboards always seem to appear within a few miles of each other. Show More Summary


The Wall Street Journal recently published an article by Barry Newman titled Theres a Question Mark Hanging Over the Apostrophes Future. My aunt sent me an email copy of the article as she knew I would enjoy it. And I did enjoy the article; however, my favorite part of the email was her subject line which read: Apostroph'. Show More Summary

Duck Dynasty's Linguist

Who would have ever thunk that a linguist would be among the characters of a rural reality show? Not me, that's for sure. So imagine my surprise when Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson gave Katie Couric a lesson in articulatory phonetics during the Rural Reality Showdown: Duck Dynasty vs. Show More Summary

More Fun with Anaphora

This humorous image reminded me of the recent post, 6 Cartons of Anaphora. In this instance, the pronoun it is meant to refer to the noun poo, the semantically logical antecedent. Syntactically, it is also more logical to start the process...Show More Summary

Yo - Ve, Xe, Ze, Zhe

I don't know about you, but the above attempts at creating gender-neutral, singular pronouns give me the heebee jeebees. Here are some more of the ridiculous constructs: . Ann Curzan, an English professor at the University of Michigan, recently wrote about the subject of singular they at Lingua Franca. Show More Summary

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