On the pronunciations of “Uvalde”

Interesting NPR article about various ways to pronounce Uvalde, and about language as a “signifier of race” and identity, and about power structures and anglicization, and respecting how people say their own town’s name, and more. Content warning for descriptions of people having been punished for speaking Spanish. Here’s a quote, though there’s lots more […]


In a book I’m reading, the narration uses the word nonplussed in a way that implies that it means a character is unbothered by something. I initially assumed that was a diction mistake, but I checked my dictionary just to be sure, and was astonished to find, in addition to the traditional meaning, a second […]

AI has a long way to go

Twitter just recommended for me a tweet that it labeled as being on the topic “filmmaking.” It was a tweet by Ana Mardoll about a doctor behaving badly. It had nothing to do with filmmaking. But it did include the phrase “right before he wrote the script.” Dear Twitter: Words have multiple meanings. In this […]

oy vey and uff da

My favorite comment thread I’ve seen this morning is on a Gizmodo article about the Morbius movie’s end-credits scenes. (The article was published last week.) One commenter wrote: oi vey Another commenter replied: ditto And a third commenter added: oofta I have long thought that oy vey (from Yiddish) and uff da (from Norwegian) were […]


I just started reading a Poe book which is the third book I’ve picked up in the past week that spells role as rôle. Given the publication dates and authors of the books in question, it’s been unclear to me whether the use of the circumflex was (a) British, (b) old-fashioned, or (c) both. So […]

Dramatic and undramatic

Dramatic and evocative nouns are often used in common phrases, and in titles of works of fiction. And they apparently become even more dramatic and evocative when paired with other such nouns and linked using and. For example: Blood and fire Thunder and roses Lace and steel Sword and sorcery So I’m amusing myself with […]