Yellow-billed Magpie, Pinnacles National Park, California

The Magpie Principle Explained


WC has apparently confused folks by describing his approach to this blog as the embodiment of the Magpie Principle. While we live in confusing times, WC doesn’t want to unnecessarily contribute to that confusion. So let’s see if WC can explain his reference. (WC has used the term – sometimes as “magpie sensibility” – to…

Potential yard birds, using another definition

Ambiguity and American English


WC doesn’t envy anyone who attempts English as a second language.  The language is riddled with euphemisms, words with multiple meanings and contextual defined term. As just one example, let’s use a term WC blogged about recently, “yard birds.” WC meant bird species seen in his yard. But “yard birds” has other meanings. There’s the…

Obsolescent form of the OED

WOTY


The Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year for 2018 is toxic. No, wait, that’s confusing. The word of the year is the adjective “toxic.” The Word of the Year isn’t itself toxic. “Toxic” joins “youthquake” (lame), “post-truth,” “vape” and “selfie,” all recent  Oxford Dictionary Words of the Year. Prior winners also include “refudiate,” a Palinism,…

WC should get a new photo for this recurring topic.

Following Up and Following Down: August 2018


It’s time for one of WC’s irregular nods to journalism and diligence. While the Magpie Principle usually rules around here, sometimes foggy memories of WC’s one journalism class emerge and you get a post like this. So here are some follow-ups, nods and quibbles on stuff WC has written about earlier. No less venerable an…