Statistics Saturday: Even More Promotions For The Coming Month


  • Wicktober. A public-safety month in which we go around to all the candles in our house and make sure each of them still works when lit.
  • Slicktober. Finally our most elaborate scheme comes off without a hitch and it looks effortless.
  • Talktober. “Talk Talk”, by Talk Talk, spends 31 days playing in your head.
  • Yaktober. Don’t let the name fool you; it’s a chance to celebrate all the Warner Siblings.
  • Marktober. Spending all this time getting worried that the spell checker allowed “Marktober” through as a word that it thinks somehow is spelled correctly even though it refuses to help me any with the spelling of Cincinn .. Cinci … Cincinat … that big city in southwestern Ohio where WKRP broadcast from.
  • Smocktober. Unleash the artist within without getting it all over your nice t-shirt!
  • Hawktober. A whole month to try selling other people your wares, perhaps foodstuffs of some manner! Good luck!
  • Woktober. We enjoy great pots of melted cheese that we dip bread into. The name is because “Fonduetober” doesn’t scan.
  • Bricktober. Unleash the chimney-repairman within without getting it all over your nice smock!
  • Socktober. A month that feels as good to take off as it does to put on!
  • Marktober. Trying a second time to spend the month — oh, look, “Marktober” has the same cadence as “Hot Blooded” and now that song’s competing with “Talk Talk”. Sorry.
  • Stoptober. Persons close to you have leave to say what they’re tired of, which is mostly persons close to me, and this whole October promotions thing.

Reference: Enslaved By Ducks, Bob Tarte.

Statistics Saturday: Some More Promotions For The Coming Month


  • Roctober. Once more, you’d think self-explanatory: we’re all great birds the size of an island. Gets crowded.
  • Snacktober. So many potato sticks. Just soooo maaaaannnny.
  • Jocktober. We all get to use our silliest fake French accent. (Should be Jacquestober.)
  • Mawktober. The month where we most don’t respond to emotional manipulation.
  • Voxtober. The voice of the month!
  • Brachtober. Finally we get to enjoy some hard candies.
  • Oc-tube-er. The month when you finally finish that project with all the cathode-ray-tube television sets.
  • Oc-tube-er. The rival month when you finally finish that project with all the potatoes.
  • Sticktober. Our month for appreciating adhesives of all kind. May last through the 5th of November if the drop cloth doesn’t work.
  • Stacktober. A chance to put things on top of many other things.
  • Barktober. We ensconce ourselves in a pleasant, cozy skin of growing wood.
  • Tictactober. We’re not getting out until we’ve played all the tic-tac-toe.

Reference: Gilded City: Scandal and Sensation In Turn-Of-The-Century New York, M H Dunlop.

Statistics Saturday: Some Promotions For The Coming Month


  • Rocktober. Self-explanatory, you’d think, but all right. Everybody’s into geology.
  • Shocktober. A whole month spent distinguishing between behing shocked and merely being startled.
  • Mocktober. The month for spoofs (good-natured).
  • Locktober. Three weeks we waste trying to remember the combination. It is 11-4-69.
  • Blocktober. The floor is covered in Legos.
  • Clocktober. We all engage in clock- and watch-themed crimes to overwhelm the Caped Crusader!
  • Spocktober. 31 days of serious inquiry into Dr Benjamin Spock’s program and how it differed from what the people trying to follow his guidance differed, with the final question about whether he was a net positive or negative force answered once and for all on the 29th, by a paintball fight. 9 pm Eastern/6 pm Pacific.
  • Hard Mocktober. The month for spoofs (nasty and a touch bitter).
  • Octoctober. You have eight arms! Finally! I mean that you can show.
  • Stocktober. You lay in enough durable supplies for the winter ahead, as it’s a bit late to lay them in for hte summer behind.
  • Docktober. We finally get all these breakbulk goods off these cargo ships.
  • Socktober. Finally something warm and comfortable on our feet.

Reference: Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds!, Arthur C Clarke.

Statistics Saturday: Even More Counting Numbers


Beyond even July’s counting

  • Fifteenteenteen
  • Sixteenteenteen
  • Seventeenteenteen
  • Eighteenteenteen
  • Nineteenteenteen
  • Teenteenteenteen
  • Eleventeenteenteen
  • Twelveteenteenteen
  • Thirteenteenteenteen
  • Fourtenteenteenteen
  • Fifteenteenteenteen
  • Sixteenteenteenteen
  • Seventeenteenteenteen
  • Eighteenteenteenteen
  • Nineteenteenteenteen
  • Teenteenteenteenteen

Reference: Conan Doyle: Portrait of an Artist, Julian Symons.

In Which My Love Is Disappointed in Me


Our pet rabbit has hay fever, which I agree seems inefficient for a rabbit. But she gets these sneezing fits sometimes, with this week one of those times. Fortunately the treatment is a bit of children’s cough syrup. And even more fortunately she loves children’s cough syrup, even more than she loves collard greens, life itself, or intimidating my love’s parents’ dogs. To set your expectations about that last one, though, you should know one of those dogs is intimidated by a potato chips bowl that’s somewhat large. The point is it’s quite easy to give our pet rabbit cough syrup. It’s maybe easier than not giving her cough syrup. She’s that enthusiastic about it.

Daytime photograph, at a severe tilt, of a golden-furred Flemish Giant rabbit sitting up, on the couch, eagerly taking a plastic syringe full of cough syrup. The hand providing it is in a dark, long-sleeved sweater.
This photograph was not taken last night, as you could have deduced because it wasn’t nearly cold enough yesterday to be wearing long sleeves.

Last night right after finishing her medicine, she sneezed three quick times. My love quipped about why the rabbit would do that right after having her medicine. I had guesses. “Maybe she wants more syrup? Maybe she’s a hypochondriac?” And then I realized, and gasped, and said, “Oh, no!”, my tone worrying my love.

I diagnosed, “Our rabbit has Bunchausen syndrome”.


And on a separate, more serious rabbit-related note. It’s about Porsupah Rhee, a friend. And rabbit photographer; there’s an excellent chance you’ve seen one of her pictures likely captioned “Everybody was bun-fu fighting”. She’s having a bad stretch right now, and has a GoFundMe to cover immediate needs. If you are able to help, that’s wonderful of you. Thank you.

Statistics Saturday: More Counting Numbers


  • Fifteen
  • Sixteen
  • Seventeen
  • Eighteen
  • Nineteen
  • Teenteen
  • Eleventeen
  • Twelveteen
  • Thirteenteen
  • Fourtenteen
  • Fifteenteen
  • Sixteenteen
  • Seventeenteen
  • Eighteenteen
  • Nineteenteen
  • Teenteenteen

Reference: Conan Doyle: Portrait of an Artist, Julian Symons.

Because I expect you want to know how my hair is doing


Since the pandemic started I haven’t had my hair cut. And now, ten months in? I’m really happy with my hair’s volume. It’s never been better. I’m less sure about its squelch and treble.

… People may be interested in how my hair is doing but they never ask what it’s doing.

Statistics Saturday: Is This A Joke?


“You know, in British English, the world `left` is spelled `lieut`.”

Modest-size wedges: 'Yes' and 'Yes, but I resent it.' Large wedge: 'No'. Even larger wedge: 'No, but it is joke-shaped'.
Not pictured: “It’s shaped like a deconstructed joke hoping for reconstitution into humor”.

Reference: The Perfect Machine: Building the Palomar Telescope, Ronald Florence.

Filling my mind so it’s good that I got my work done early today


I want to make some joke about how ‘honest’ implies the existence of words ‘honer’ and ‘hone’ except I’m feeling not 100% sure that isn’t how we got ‘honor’ in there and I don’t want to look it up. Sorry.

I kind of tried


Can we stipulate that the most superlative of ciders is the cidest? … No, it’s really not working.

(Well, this is what I promised to try last week, when I noted The Family Circus should have had a strip referring to a past Thanksgiving as “Thanksgiven”, although I had held out that I might not succeed. Please stop in next week when I will insist that the river is technically what the body of moving water does, and the water itself should be known as the riverer.)

A Quick Post-Holiday Realization


You know, if The Family Circus never did a strip where one of the kids was telling another that last year’s Thanksgiving is properly referred to as “Thanksgiven” then the Keanes missed a major opportunity.

(Thanks for seeing me live up to the promise made last week, when I shared the theoretical reasons for the existence of a word “remise”. Please stop in next week when — no promises — I’m going to see if I can put together a coherent thought about superlative cider being the cidest.)

How Is That Word-Count-Lowering Project Going?


Theoretical linguistics tells us there should be a word “remise”, which would refer to supplying something with mise all over again, possibly after its demise.

(I thank everyone who stopped in last week, when I asked if something’s demise was its running out of mise. Please stop in next time when I’ll point out how, if The Family Circus never did a strip where one of the adorable little moppets talks about last year’s Thanksgiving by naming it “Thanksgiven” then they missed a major opportunity.)

Doing More Of Few Words


The demise of something is just when it runs out of mise, right?

(I had hoped last week that I would speculate about this. Next week, I hope to declare that there should logically be a word ‘remise’ that refers to supplying something with mise all over again. Stick around and see if I manage it!)

Let’s Keep Trying To Hold My Average Wordcount Down, Now


Would it do anything useful to shortening my average post length if we could turn the word “awkward” into “awayward” for some reason? If not, why did I typo “awkward” as “awayward” repeatedly, then? Huh?

(I said last week I was going to do this, and I’m glad to say I haven’t overlought that promise. Please check in next week when I will speculate that the demise of something is when it runs out of mise.)

Because conjugation is a group decision this week, too


You know, if we all wanted to, we could decide that the past tense of “overlook” is “overlought”, and cut “overlooked” entirely out of the deal. This would solve nothing.

(This follows up on what I planned last week, thinking about how “quanch” could be the past tense of “quench” if we worked at it. Please visit next week when I’ll see if I can extend this to somehow turning “awkward” into “awayward” for whatever reason.)

Because conjugation is a group decision


You know, if we just got together we could make “quench” into a strong verb, so that its tenses changed the sound, and then any of us would be able to say that by getting that satisfactory drink, “I quanch my thirst”.

(This is just what I promised last week when I complained my spell checker refuses to warn me about “trange” being nonsense and yet will not give me “quanch”. Well, let’s see what happens next week, as maybe I’ll try to apply the same principles to turn “overlooked” into “overlought”, which would solve nothing.)

Now I’m Just Complaining About Spell Checkers


I paid, I assume, good money to have a spell checker somewhere on my computer so why is it letting me get away with listing “trange” as a word? It won’t give me any guidance in how to spell “Cincinnati”, which I’ve done with as many as two n’s, three c’s, and fourteen n’s; what do I even have it for? Complaining that I write “Olive Oyl” in 2019?

(Well, that’s the exploration I promised I’d do last week when I shared how professional historians describe the ancient city of Paris as “Parwas”. Please visit next week when I intend to point out how if we just made “quench” into a strong verb then we could talk about having quenched something by the phrase, “I quanch my thirst”. Oh, and the spell checker will give me “trange” but not “quanch”? Seriously.)

I May Have Finished Exploring Trivial Quirks of Language


But were you aware that professional historians writing about ancient Paris by convention dub the long-ago state of the urban area as “Parwas”? It’s totally true.

(I appreciate your seeing me do as promised last week, when I hypothesized the existence of a verb tense making the word “swang”. Theory bears out: Dictionary.com attests this as a chiefly Scottish and North England past tense of “swing”. So I may just have to close up shop now that I’ve done so well. Or maybe not. Because I do need to explore why my spell checker is letting me get away with “trange”. Why does it allow “trange” as a word? This spell checker is already useless in helping me spell “Cincinnati”; why is it giving obviously wrong passes to stuff like this? We’ll explore that next week.)

From the Institute of Theoretical English


The change of vowel from swing to swung implies the existence of a tense in which the verb becomes “swang”.

(Thanks for seeing me do what I promised last week, when we explored the meaning of “grueling”. Please stop in next week as I reveal that historians writing about ancient Paris name the long-ago urban area as “Parwas”.)

Nobody Ask About Gruesome


You know that to describe something as “grueling” means to say it is a small monstrous creature actually made of gruel, don’t you?

(Thanks for riding with me as I do what I said I’d do last week, when I explained how “delicate” meant the negation of “licate”, meaning to handle a precious object by licking. Please stop in next week as I argue that the verb “swing” with its past tense “swung” implies we should also have a form of the word that comes out “swang”.)

I’m past wondering if Long Story Short is making fun of me


It’s amazing how many people use the word “delicate” wrong when casual examination shows it’s the negation of the word “licate”, which means “to handle a precious or fragile object using the medium of licking”.

Man up to his knees in a pool of quicksand, to a person up to his hat in another pool: 'If I'm in quicksand and you're in quickersand, then it stands to reason there must be quickeststand.'
Daniel Beyers’s Long Story Short for the 10th of September, 2019. I like the writing craft that chooses “it stands to reason” as the connecting phrase there, since it puts this nise assonance in the whole phrase and makes it that bit funnier.

(I hope this puts to rest worries that I was fibbing last week, when I wondered if Daniel Beyers’s Long Story Short was making fun of me. Please visit next week when I will explain that “grueling” refers to a small monstrous creature made of gruel.)

I briefly wonder if Long Story Short is making fun of me


So, ah, you think it’s possible Daniel Beyers’s Long Story Short here is making fun of me?

Man up to his knees in a pool of quicksand, to a person up to his hat in another pool: 'If I'm in quicksand and you're in quickersand, then it stands to reason there must be quickeststand.'
Daniel Beyers’s Long Story Short for the 10th of September, 2019. I like the writing craft that chooses “it stands to reason” as the connecting phrase there, since it puts this nise assonance in the whole phrase and makes it that bit funnier.

(And you see me live up to the promise made last week when I said what a goodra was. Please visit next week as I hope to explain the word “delicate” as the negation of the word “licate”, meaning “to handle a precious or fragile object using the medium of licking”.)

I’m Easily Amused By Words, Part, Like, 19


You know what a goodra is? Definitions vary but most statisticians accept that it’s any ra which is more than one standard deviation above the mean.

(Thanks for seeing me live up to the promise I made last week, when I said a non-calendar list of days could be a bit calend-ish. Please visit next week when I’ll ask whether this panel of Daniel Beyers’s comic Long Story Short is mocking me.)

Man up to his knees in a pool of quicksand, to a person up to his hat in another pool: 'If I'm in quicksand and you're in quickersand, then it stands to reason there must be quickeststand.'
Daniel Beyers’s Long Story Short for the 10th of September, 2019. I like the writing craft that chooses “it stands to reason” as the connecting phrase there, since it puts this nise assonance in the whole phrase and makes it that bit funnier.

I’m Easily Amused By Words, Part, Like, 18


Granted. But wouldn’t you agree that even if a list of days is not a calendar, that it is still a bit calend-ish? Of course you would.

(And now you are a witness to me living up to the promise of last week, when I argued “consumer electronics” mean “computers you eat”. Please visit next week when I’ll answer the question of what’s a “goodra” by explaining it’s “any ra that’s more than one standard deviation above the mean”.)

More Silly Little Stuff


You know it’s crazy we think “consumer electronics” could mean anything besides “computers you eat”. Why would you want them to mean anything else?

(Thanks for seeing me do what I promised last week when I asked what a “centaur” should mean. Please visit next week when I will put forward that a list of days that’s not a calendar is at least a little calend-ish.)

Expanding on Few Words


Is it proper to understand a centaur as a being who’s half-human and half-penny? Or would it be better to see them as someone who’s half-penny and half-horse?

(Thank you for watching me fulfill the promise made last week when I pondered the roostest. I shall be honored if you visit me next week when I intend to argue that “consumer electronics” must mean “computers you eat”.)

Perching Upon A Few Words


You know, based on how English forms comparatives, we have to conclude there should be something we describe as the “roostest” and we just have to discover what that is.

(Thank you for being here as I meet the promise made when I thought about the month of Decembest. Pease visit next week when I plan to ask whether a centaur should properly be understood as someone who’s half-human, half-penny or someone who’s half-penny, half-horse.)

Thinking Again About The Cool Months


You know how — at my latitudes anyway — December is typically a cold and Christmas-y month? Boy, just think how extremely cold and ultra-Christmas-y the month of Decembest must be.

(And so I fulfill the promise the promise made last week when I wondered about taking all the Cember out of the month. Please visit me next week when I ponder how the structure of English comparatives implies there should be such a concept as the roostest.)