January 24, 2018

Old Friendships, Wordships – How We Met Them

Guest Post

Language makes us human. Many of us remember the exact moment when we first encountered a new, unfamiliar word. Over time, these bits of vocabulary became old friends. Such moments can occur for many reasons, such as a sentimental high school moment with a vocabulary card preparing for the SATs. This blog includes three vocabulary moments. The first word arrived as an unexpected guidepost for Cheryl Wilder’s career. The second taught Ellen MacMillan something about judging people. The third from your host, Bill Finger, reminds us how humor and grace can help heal humiliation.

Cheryl WilderCheryl Wilder, a writer and poet, shares her work at http://bornwilder.com/

I had the great fortune to work for an architect during the last years of his career. Part of my job was to research the history of architecture. My focus was on architectural space and not the material or engineering that made it all possible. The other part of my job was to find new language that helped define the spaces in which we live. [Read more…]

Lissome Lean into Lambent Laughter

Guest Post

James HollisDr. James Hollis, a Jungian analyst, has written 14 books and travels widely to speak. He is scheduled to be in Charlotte on September 29-30, 2017, where he has spoken at the Jungian society in recent years. For more on him and his work, go to: https://www.jameshollis.net/. I sent Hollis my blog posted in July, Hortatory Humor (available below on this page), which focuses on a paragraph in one of his books. He responded to my email: “You are the only one who has ever commented on the alliterative fun….in all these years. Most of the time people complain because of the vocabulary and I feel they should thank me because each new word opens a new world. That is how I have always looked at it, and I can see you do also. It is of course fun, and I am glad you joined the fun. It is a fine blog and when it runs, let me know and I will send something.” What he sent is below, dashed off within an hour of an email exchange. My thoughts on his lissome lean follow his remarks.

Following Finger’s felicitous foray into fine fun in his blog on Hortatory Humor, I offer a few reflections on wringing ringing prose from the possibly pretentious or prosaic prospects of one’s perspicacious perceptions.
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LOL: Hortatory Humor

Humor, unlike hubris, ranks high in the hierarchy of hortatory writing. But where does alliteration alight in such alignments? Whether in allegory or analysis, alliteration can sometimes suggest subtlety in craftsmanship. But too many of the same letters or sounds falling close together on the page may ring clumsy or clunky instead.

Humor and alliteration have formed an unexpected and delightful couple for me. I have laughed out loud more than once, not because I finally learned what LOL means in text messages from my adult daughter. Why not “lots of love”? The alliterative arrow that found my heart came with, I promise, the letter “q.” [Read more…]