Statistics Saturday: Some Bad Wordle Starts


  • XYLEM
  • AAAGH (word)
  • XYZZY (cheat code)
  • (Four greys, one yellow, and a scolding look from Word-Lor, the Elemental Spirit of Word Games)
  • AAAGH (cry of despair)
  • (Computer catches on fire)
  • SZKZK (snore)
  • (Computer, self catch on fire)
  • “@[=g3,8d]\&fbb=-q]/hK%fg” (cat walked across keyboard)
  • (Three greys and two squares of a color never before seen, or suspected, in the existence of any beings capable of reason.)
  • :wq! (Exit-with-save command for the vi text editor)
  • (Computer, self catch on fire; earthquake)

Reference: The Pine Barrens, John McPhee.

Statistics Saturday: Some Failed Attempts At Finding The Past Tense Of ‘To Glide’ After ‘Glided’ Looked Weird


  • Glode
  • Glidden
  • Glade
  • Gliddled
  • Gline
  • Glidest
  • Glued
  • Glidded
  • Glinda
  • Gloud
    • Reference: Dust: A History of the Small and the Invisible, Joseph A Amato.

What has placed an undue strain on my credulity today


Wait, you expect me to believe this whole factory — the entire thing, building, machinery, stock, even the staff — is made of cheesecake? No, my friend. I remember how I was fooled by tales of a factory made wholly of old spaghetti. I shall not buy into this.

I do however want cheesecake.

Statistics Saturday: Some Partly Unfoggy, Semi-Unclear, or Sort-of-precise Words


  • Inapproximativish
  • Unbecloudedish
  • Inbrumousesish
  • Ungauzyish
  • Uniexactish
  • Unloosish
  • Immistyish
  • Immurkyish
  • Ummushyesque
  • Inopaquish
  • Antiundeterminedly
  • Unvaguish

Reference: Semantic Antics: How and Why Words Change Meaning, Sol Steinmetz.

Statistics Saturday: Some Partly Foggy, Semi-Clear, or Sort-of-Imprecise Words


  • Approximativish
  • Becloudedish
  • Brumousesish
  • Gauzyish
  • Inexactly
  • Loosish
  • Mistyish
  • Murkyish
  • Mushyesque
  • Opaquish
  • Undeterminedlike
  • Vaguish

Reference: Semantic Antics: How and Why Words Change Meaning, Sol Steinmetz.

Statistics Saturday: Some Unfoggy, Clear, or Precise Words


  • Inapproximative
  • Unbeclouded
  • Inbrumous
  • Ungauzy
  • Uninexact
  • Unloose
  • Immisty
  • Immurky
  • Ummushy
  • Inopaque
  • Antiundetermined
  • Unvague

Reference: Semantic Antics: How and Why Words Change Meaning, Sol Steinmetz.

Statistics Saturday: Some Ways To Spend November


  • No-Shave November. Celebrate the month by going thirty days using full ice cubes, or none at all. None of this shaved or chipped ice stuff.
  • NaNovember. Like November, but in one-billionth slices.
  • Hanovember. Celebrate the imperial court where Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz did his most significant avoidance of work for the Court of Hanover.
  • Napvember. A much-needed time to lie in bed while the afternoon sun’s warming your toesies.
  • Nullvember. 30 days in which we examine the byte patterns denoting the end of a string variable in C-based programming languages.
  • DiNovember. A whole month in which the most serious argument you have is about whether brontosaurus is the right name for them or not. (Note: we mean whether they’re the right name for brontosauruses. We all agree ‘brontosaurus’ is not the right name for kangaroos, Zach.)
  • No-No-November. Each day your life becomes an even-more-faithful adaptation of the smash Broadway hit No, No, Nanette.
  • Perry Comovember. Not limited to Perry Como but rather to learning about the originals of all the performers and movies you learned about from watching SCTV. Next week we compare The Towering Inferno to when they opened that super-skyscraper over Melonville!
  • Morevember. November, but it’s a 31-day month. Think of the possibilities.
  • Hypnovember. Thirty days, thirty right triangles, thirty hypotenuses!
  • San Marinovember. We all visit the tiny nation at once and see if we can’t make it tip over!
  • Renovember. Finally we do those little home-repair projects we’ve been putting off for eighteen years. … Maybe next month.

Reference: The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed, John McPhee.

I’m Out of Practice. Is This a Thing?


I’m trying to get back into writing short stuff, but, you know. I’m out of practice. Is this a thing?

The dragon was nonplussed by the offering of a vast quantity of fish. after a lot of thought the dragon explained, “You must have got something wrong … I don’t have a hoard of herring. I’m just a little deaf in this ear.”

Anyway please let me know on a scale of things, ranging from “a small thing” such as maybe an apple slicer through to “a reasonable-sized thing” such as a loaf of ciabatta bread. On looking back over this, also, I’m not sure I’m not just hungry.

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.)

%d bloggers like this: