Showing posts from August, 2011

WNW: The English Ear

(Fun news at the end of the post; don't miss it!)

A couple of years ago, I posted a funky mind bender that messes with your head, or, rather, your ear. I talked about how, to understand language, your mind needs to know when one word ends and the next begins.
I used this pseudo-nursery rhyme as an example of messing that up so you can't figure out what's being said:
Maresy dotes'n dosey dotes'n littel amsy divie.
The answer to that one is in THIS POST.
After that, several people told me about the great game Mad Gab, which works off this same principle: one team reads a garbled (but famous) phrase off a card and tries to figure out what it really means. The person holding the card knows the meaning. And I can tell you, it's wild playing Mad Gab; as the person holding the card, you think your team has said the phrase, only they don't know what they said.
The other day, my friend Robison Wells posted a link on Twitter to something that reminded me of this concept…

Hey, I'm Still a Mom!

Awhile back, I got on a frugal kick. My efforts included signing up for newsletters and going to blogs aimed at helping mothers save money.
They included freebies, coupons, giveaways, announcements of sales, and so forth. I was quite excited over the prospect of getting great deals and saving money for our family.
But as the months went on, I found these lists less and less useful. As the mother of four, how is that possible?
Turns out that these money-saving services aren't really aimed at mothers in general. They're aimed at new mothers, women with children who cannot use the toilet, feed themselves, or read.
If I still had the need for cheap diapers, strollers, board books, car seats, booster seats, high chairs, building blocks, bibs, bath toys, and videos with bouncing shapes and characters singing mind-numbing songs, I'd be having a ball.
But I don't, and I'm not.
See, my children are older than that. They're not only potty trained and can feed themselves, bu…

WNW: Mormon Edition, Take 2

A couple of years ago I did a Mormon Edition for Word Nerd Wednesday, wherein we discussed the proper pronunciation of words like Ensign, Patriarchal, and Melchizedek, and how the phrase "strait and narrow" (meaning tight and narrow, basically synonyms) is constantly misunderstood and referred to as "straight and narrow" (not twisty and narrow). You can read that post HERE.
I thought it might be time for another edition with a few more Mormon-y common mistakes.

Shew I know this looks like new and threw. That's the reason we often hear pronounced as SHOO.
I pronounced it like that well into my adulthood until someone corrected me. Doubtful, I looked it up, and lo and behold, they were right. It's an archaic spelling of show, but it's still pronounced the same way: show. It uses the same spelling (and sound) that sew does.

Yea/Ye/Yeah In the scriptures, we see yea. Most people pronounce it correctly (YAY).
Every so often, I'll hear someone pronounce ye (the …

Why Kindle?

I got a question over on Twitter the other day.
(Note: If you want to follow me, I'm HERE.)
The question came from Zina over at My Imaginary Blog. Readers here may remember her as the blogger I borrowed the malapropism post from. (She's got a lot more where that come from.)
When I posted the first chapter of my middle-grade fantasy novel, The Golden Cup of Kardak, she was curious as to why I decided to go straight to the Kindle with it.
Since the answer doesn't fit into a 140-character tweet, and because I'm guessing other readers may have the same question, I felt a blog post coming on. So Zina, here's the answer.
But some history first. I now have four e-book titles. I traditionally published seven novels with Covenant. My first two went out of print years ago, and the rights reverted back to me. And then I sat on them, because self-publishing a hard-copy novel is crazy expensive. If you go inexpensive and do the print-on-demand thing, you're unlikely to sell …

WNW: The Scandinavian E vs. O (Or: Spell My Name Right!)

I'm combining two topics for today's Word Nerd Wednesday: history (in particular, family history) and word nerdiness in the form of patronymic names.
The history, of course, must come first:
Most people in the United States with European ancestry can point to a specific reason (an "immigration event") that spurred people to leave their motherlands and head to America for a better life, whether it was for economic, religious, or other reasons.
One big example is the Irish potato famine. Lots of Irish people came to the States during that period in hopes of, oh, not dying.
Other countries experienced hard financial times, and we see spikes in immigration during them, including people coming to work in U. S. mines, thinking that they'd strike it rich.
A lot of immigrants came from Scandinavia, Sweden in particular. Some of the more common last names we see from that era are Larson, Peterson, and Jacobson.*
Those are patronymic names, meaning the person's last name si…

Now Available in Electrons

It's been a busy few weeks around here between me doing proofing (three times) and getting constant changes and tweaks to my computer guy (the husband).
Oh, and then there was getting two covers made.
One was a new one for Lost Without You. It's in the header and over in the side bar, but for your viewing pleasure, here it is again:

(If you've read it: doesn't the new one reflect the story so much better? I know!)
But the biggest news right now is what's behind all the proofing and coding and the second cover.
All of that was for a brand new e-book.
I got the idea for the story during my senior year of high school.
(Here's where I wax nostalgic.)
I was part of a program called the Senior Honors Seminar. About a dozen seniors were picked for it through an application process. It was essentially a way cool book club run by the principal and one of the English teachers. They gave us books to read, and about once a month, they excused us from class, fed us donuts or pizz…

WNW: Two Definition Blunders

Whether I'm reading a book or editing a manuscript, I tend to notice misused words. (I do, however, maintain the right to have typos and mistakes here on my blog. Just sayin'.)
Some of these are misused word pairs, which I've covered before on Word Nerd Wednesday (see the homophones posts HERE and HERE, with more to come), but others aren't word pairs. Instead, they're terms we often assume mean one thing but really mean something else.
Today's we're focusing on two commonly misunderstood words and their real meanings. Both words are often mixed up because they sound like they're emphasizing the core word. Not so.
penultimate This word sounds really cool. It sounds like "the ultra ultimate," of something, so whatever it's describing, it must be way awesome.
The real definition isn't nearly so spectacular: penultimate simply means the second to last.
If you're a reader and know this series, here's a way to remember it: The second to l…

Tristi's Hang 'Em High Hoedown

Welcome to the Hang ‘em High Hoedown, counting down the days until the release of Tristi Pinkston’s new novel Hang ‘em High, the third installment in The Secret Sisters Mysteries.When Ida Mae Babbitt receives an invitation to visit her son Keith’s dude ranch in Montana, she’s excited to mend their broken relationship, but not so excited about spending time with cows.Arlette and Tansy go along with her, ready to take a vacation that does not involve dead bodies or mysteries of any sort—one must have a break from time to time.But it seems a no-good scoundrel has moseyed into Dodge City and is bent on causing all sorts of trouble for the ranch.Unable to keep her curiosity in check—especially when it seems her own son is the most likely culprit—Ida Mae decides to investigate.Can she lasso the varmint and get him to the sheriff in time? You are invited to the launch party:When:Saturday, August 13th, 12 – 4 pmWhere: Pioneer Book, 858 S. State, OremPrizes, games, Dutch oven cobbler (first com…