Poetry in 2016 — Nora Chisnell

April is national poetry month. When was the last time you read, wrote or remembered the words to a poem? Like Mark Twain’s, poetry’s death has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, it is alive and well in print and online journals, open mics and poetry slams all over the world. Few poets dedicate their lives …

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Jefferson’s Polygraph Machine

Almost every day, Thomas Jefferson wrote letters. “From sun-rise to one or two o’clock,” he noted, “I am drudging at the writing table.” Jefferson wrote almost 20,000 letters in his lifetime, and he needed to keep copies of his letters. Fortunately, John Isaac Hawkins (1772–1855) and Charles Willson Peale (1741–1827) invented this little gadget that …

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Funny (Non)definitions

Disclaimer: You won’t find any of these definitions in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary: Arbitrator: n. A cook that leaves Arby’s to work at McDonalds Avoidable: v. What a bullfighter tried to do Burglarize: n. What a crook sees with Counterfeiters: npl. Workers who install kitchen cabinets Eclipse: v. What an Cockney barber does for a living Eyedropper: …

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Backronym Whimsy

A while back, we wrote an article about retronyms. Now it’s time for more Word People whimsy! Do you know what a “backronym” is? If not, you soon shall. A backronym is a reverse acronym. (Alternative spelling: bacronym) It’s an expression that has been formed from the letters of an existing word or name. Examples …

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