All Over the Place

On December 27, 2012 By

The word of the day for December 21, 2012: SCATTER

When I think of the word “scat­ter” I think of…um…let’s see…uh…I for­get. Let’s see what oth­ers have to say while I try and remem­ber what it means to me.

scat­tered leaves skit­ter down
side­walks like march­ing
sol­diers invad­ing enemy yards
their toes scratch­ing the
cement are rem­i­nis­cent of claws
[Katie Sill]

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Shaken and Stirred

On December 17, 2012 By

The word of the day for December 15, 2012: STIR

The events of the past week have stirred emo­tions around the globe. There’s been enough stir­ring. It’s time to do some­thing. I’m not say­ing take away the guns—that’s uncon­sti­tu­tional. However, I would offer that US cit­i­zens should be able to own guns, but only guns and weapons avail­able at the time the Constitution was unan­i­mously signed in 1790 (or ear­lier). If some­one can smug­gle a mus­ket past air­port secu­rity, waltz into an ele­men­tary school with a a how­itzer can­non, or Catherine-Wheel unsus­pect­ing theatergoers…

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Umbrellas and Stars

On December 9, 2012 By

The word of the day for December 6, 2012: ROOF

When I was maybe nine or ten, I thought it’d be fun to jump off the roof with an umbrella. And it was. Lucky for me and oneword.com I grew up in a sca­lene triangle-shaped house and decided to do a test run off its low­est point, around two and a half meters. Even though my entire body weighed the equiv­a­lent of my present-day big toe, the stretch­ers flew straight up halfway down…

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The word of the day for December 1, 2012: COOK

The ori­gin of cook­ing is dubi­ous, with the­o­ries span­ning 10,000 to 2.5 mil­lion years. My guess is that someone—let’s call him “Grog”—was warm­ing him­self by the fire, gnaw­ing on a fish he caught with his bare hands ear­lier that day. Thunder struck in the dis­tance, star­tling him, caus­ing him to launch his fish into the coals…

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Like Old Ivy”

On December 1, 2012 By

The word of the day for November 28, 2012: PAST.

Technically, every­thing we expe­ri­ence is the past. By the time our sen­sory sys­tem trans­lates a bunch of vibrat­ing waves into images, taste, touch, sound, and scent, the event itself is over. It may be just a few mil­lisec­onds in the past, but in the past nonetheless.

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Soon is Not Enough”

On November 29, 2012 By

The word of the day for November 22, 2012: SOON.

As I was scan­ning through entries to fea­ture in this post, my son sent me a text mes­sage ask­ing if I could pick him up from school. “Okay, I’ll be there soon.” I typed. Before hit­ting send, I thought about what a wishy-washy, non­com­mit­tal word “soon” is; a word that implies that some­thing is just around the corner—often when it’s not. Even when “soon” speaks of hope, it’s largely indica­tive of some sort of lack. I revised my reply: “I’ll be there in 14 minutes.”…

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Little Big Bangs”

On November 27, 2012 By

The word of the day for November 24, 2012: LIBRARY.

Library is a word that tech­nol­ogy has ren­dered nearly obso­lete. I had for­got­ten what a mag­i­cal place a library used to be for me: con­struc­tion paper let­ters announc­ing the new; musty smells of aged leather and brown­ing paper announc­ing the old; librar­i­ans nav­i­gat­ing a mys­te­ri­ous dec­i­mal sys­tem; the cacoph­ony of cross­ing waves of pas­sion from poets, prophets, and imag­in­ers tran­scend­ing time; the silence.

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Square Squared

On November 26, 2012 By

The word of the day for November 23, 2012: SQUARE.

As the adage goes, “there are two sides to every story.” This one has four.
A square is rare in nature. Through the air­plane win­dow at 30,000 feet, rivers snake across the land­scape as mean­der­ing peaks fork through the limestone…

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