Phrases to avoid. Most of us can work on these.

| November 21, 2021

Saw a longer list  of phrases on CNBC’s "Make It" website last week but pick out a few  that I hear (or say) quite often. The easiest to correct are probably the ones that we stop saying … but can it be done? “Needless to say …” What to say instead: Nothing “Needless to say” […]

The etymology of “pay through the nose”

| November 1, 2015

I don't recall why I used the phrase “pay through the nose” this past week, but this sounds about right … Instead of fighting the invaders, some English kings preferred to pay the Vikings to leave them in peace. These payments were called 'Danegeld' (meaning 'Dane debt' or Dane payment). The Vikings collected tribute in […]

English 101: What’s wrong with this sentence?

| July 13, 2008

I enjoy reading books and certain authors for different reasons — for example, I not only enjoy William F. Buckley’s sailing memoirs because of the sailing content but because use of the English language is impressive. That said — oh, and I’m not an English major (obviously) — this particular sentence from a book I […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
My Desultory Blog