The answer to how fast something can be accomplished is complicated: like the answer to how fast might we achieve peace in our time, how fast might we figure out that the climate is changing, how fast we can stop reinventing the wheel in our schools, how fast we can…well, I’ll focus on how fast I walk for starters to show how variables change the pace. (a 420-character, 9-line poem by Patty)

Image 1About how fast do you walk,Mom?

Um, precisely? I ask. Let’s see:

Endomondo says I did a 17.2 min. a mile lap, after an earlier lap took 30 min.

because I stopped to watch Common Merganser babies on their Mama’s back.

But another time,

I PASSED a Dad pushing an infant in an umbrella stroller

& carrying a toddler with no shoes on his shoulder

while his 4-year old hung on his carpenter pant loops.

That fast. About.




Yep.  Slang and sass are now officially part of the English language.  It’s in the dictionary, people.  Just not this one.


Have you read The Professor and the Madman: a Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary?

OED Online

The book tells of the nineteenth century idea to create the seminal dictionary and the thousands who assisted in the dictionary’s creation. Noted scholars responded to the call, but one contributor remained unique: an American expat confined to an asylum who contributed thousands of entries.



Today’s complete Oxford English Dictionary 20-volume hardback set costs $1,165 and weighs in at a whopping 130 pounds.

Oxford Dictionary Online (not to be confused with the published Oxford English Dictionary) has added a selection of words found in current English usage that are so frequently used they merit a dictionary entry.

ICYMI (abbrev.)~ in case you missed it.

11x0324n8342It’s an incredibly dynamic resource. And it recently added some new words.

Like hate-watch (watch a television program for the enjoyment derived from mocking or criticizing it), listicle (an internet article in the form of a numbered or bullet-pointed list), live-tweet (post comments about an event on Twitter while it’s taking place), second screen (a mobile device used while watching television), cord cutting (cancelling a pay television subscription or landline phone connection in favor of an internet-based or wireless service), and hyperconnected (the widespread or habitual use of internet-connected devices).

There are some new abbreviations, too ~  adorbs (arousing great delight; from adorable), cray and cray cray (crazy) and dox (search for and publish private data on the Internet, typically with malicious intent; from doc, short for document).

These slang words made the cut ~  hench (strong, fit, and having well-developed muscles; probably from henchman), hot mess (something spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered), mansplain (a man explaining something, typically to a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing), side-eye (a sidelong glance expressing disapproval or contempt), spit-take (as a comic technique, an act of suddenly spitting out liquid one is drinking in response to something funny or surprising; a play on double-take), and side boob (the side part of a woman’s breast, as exposed by a revealing item of clothing.)


So, who actually decides which words make it into dictionaries? Language historian Anne Curzan gives an upper-case great look at the humans behind dictionaries and the choices they make. I love her TED talk.  It’s adorkable.


Is it all just cray cray click-bait?

Or real amazeballs ?

Leaves me SMH.


Toni 8/29/14


ScanMy first Kindergarten class, 1970, Elihu Burritt School.  

Yes, I let them use knives.

Have a kudos-worthy year, Teachers!

Toni 8/28/14