Sunday, January 31, 2016

2015 Word of the Year is singular “They”; a Solution to English’s Lack of a Gender-neutral Third-person Singular Personal Pronoun

Just learned about this while watching the January 10 edition of “CBS Sunday Morning”: Earlier this month, the American Dialect Society voted for they used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun as its 2015 Word of the Year!
In other words, says “CBS Sunday Morning,” it’s no longer “he went to the car” or “she went to the car.” Instead, it’s “they went to the car." It’ll be worth your while to read the American Dialect Society’s full explanation on their webpage (at
Most notable for me was the following comment by Bill Walsh, copy editor for the Washington Post: “(It’s) the only sensible solution to English’s lack of a gender-neutral third-person singular personal pronoun.”
© Copyright 2016 V.J. Singal

Saturday, January 30, 2016

“Should Wait Until it Clearly Sees the Whites of Inflation’s Eyes”; “His Right Hand is Playing (so fast), a Traffic Ticket is Waiting for Him When He’s Done”--Visual, Evocative Expression to Emphasize Something

Here are some recent examples of articulate people using a vivid, evocative expression while emphasizing something and thus making their assertion indelible--examples which, I hope, will inspire the rest of us into similarly imaginative use of the language, especially when we are trying to break through the clutter.

  • During an edition of “ABC This Week” earlier this month (Sunday, January 10), here’s how Nobel laureate Paul Krugman responded when asked whether the Federal Reserve is likely to increase interest rates again: “I’d be holding my fire. I wouldn’t have done (last month’s) rate hike because… The Fed should be waiting until it really, clearly sees the whites of inflation’s eyes because…”
  • [From a January 3, 2016, "60 Minutes" segment about 12-year-old jazz pianist prodigy Joey Alexander, who hails from Bali and now lives in NY] Commenting on a rendition of “My Favorite Things” by the wunderkind, jazz radio station WBGO’s Gary Walker: “If you listen to the way Joey Alexander plays (that piece of music), at one point his sensibility through his left hand is almost like you’re going to church…but his right hand is playing at such a fleeting moment, there is a traffic ticket waiting for him when he’s done (laughter).” 
© Copyright 2016  V. J. Singal

Friday, January 29, 2016

Vocabulary Expansion Words: New Edition of “Words of the Month”

Have you looked at the latest edition of Words of the Month,” my free vocabulary enrichment feature, which has been online for the past couple of weeks? Here are the six featured words, all of which lie within the conversational vocabulary of America’s most articulate (as is the case with all of the words featured in my book, The Articulate Professional-3rdEdition”):

1. preternatural
2. sinews
3. funereal
4. revulsion
5. disapprobation
6. artful