Use the right term

word-switchingWhile reading things on the internet, I have discovered some word oddities.  Actually, by odd, I mean they are using the wrong words.  In the two cases I will cite here, they used actual words that sound like the word they wanted.

Does anyone know what the name for this phenomenon is?  The closest I can come is that of the mondegreen.  I did a wordsbybob blog post on mondegreens earlier in this blog.

Example 1:   Someone said they felt like “crawling up in a ball.” They clearly meant curling up in a ball.

Example 2:  Another person said while commenting on the good effort of someone that they did “an admiral” job.  I am ninety-nine percent sure they really wanted to say admirable.  No offense to anyone who served in the Navy!

My guess, and it is only a guess, is that these people are not great readers.  They have probably heard these terms–or misheard them.


Nut graph What the heck?

What is a nut graph?


Not too long ago, I received an email from my editor about a newspaper article I wrote.  He referenced the nut graph that needed some work.

Not having a journalism background, I had to do some research on what a nut graph– or nut graf, nutgraph, nutgraf.

According to Wikipedia, in journalism, nut graph is a paragraph, especially in a feature story.  It explains the news value of the story.

It probably came from the term nutshell paragraph. This may be tied to the “in an nutshell” phrase.

Wikipedia says that writing a nut graph is called nutshelling and the writer is called a nutsheller.

Guilty as charged

P.S.  As an aside to some of my witty friends and readers, nut graph does not refer to a family tree–mine or others.


Moldering — not smoldering

moldering definition

Moldering is another word I have never used or heard of until recently. Just as my prior post on oddment, it comes from an essay submission by someone in my writers’ critique group.


This means to turn to dust by natural decay.  To crumble to pieces, disintegrate or waste away. (A building can molder.)

It is related to words like:

decompose, decay, rot and spoil.

Bokeh — what is it?

bokeh_definitionBokeh is the word I am thinking of today.


I came across this word as I was  reading a book on digital photography.  It can be pronounced boh-kay or boh-kuh.  In addition to being an interesting word, it would score well in the game of Scrabble.

Definition of bokeh—The aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens.  It can also mean “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.”

A photo having a smooth, silky-looking out-of-focus area behind the main subject is said to have a nice bokeh.

The word bokeh is from the Japanese language.  It’s a translation of “mental haze.”



Technology fading away


Technology really isn’t fading way but some applications maybe be subject to fading.


I recently came across the word blogfade or blog fade, if you prefer.

Blogfade occurs when a person sets up a blog and starts posting to it, only to abandon or forget about it later.  Neglecting a blog can be causes by many factors including losing your initial enthusiasm, realizing it is a lot of work, etc.  Sometimes blogs fade because the person responsible for it on an organization leaves.

Closely related to blogfade is podcast fade.  The concept is the same. Someone starts a podcasts, putting up new episodes on a regular and consistent basis.  Again, for whatever reason, they stop doing this.



Reading everything –even a shampoo bottle

shampoo blogShampoo bottle reading? Really?

Yes, I am a reader.  I read almost every of the free newspapers found at coffee shops among other things.  Growing up, I read the cereal box as I ate my morning cereal.

So, it doesn’t strike me as strange that I recently read–in detail–some of the text on the shampoo bottle that my wife placed in the shower.

I guess I should be happy that my bottle of soapy water does so much.

First is says it has the collagen plumping effect.  My hair may like this but I am not too keen on anything that will make me look plump.

Next, the bottles says it is a weightless shampoo.  What? It sure seems to have some weight, or maybe that’s just the plastic bottle.  Seems to me that astronauts might benefit from this characteristic more than me.

Next, the label states that my shampoo is silicon free.  (No dash)  I had not idea why  this is a positive attribute, so like any good computer used, I Googled it.  Seems that silicon on the hair lessens the effect of hair dye.  The silicone coats the hairs, making it harder for the coloring to adhere.   This is not a concern to me–my hair has been gray for quite some time now.

I scratched my soapy head when I saw that the shampoo I use keeps my hair thick and full-bodied for 24 hours.  If I had  more time on my hands, I might time it to see what I look like in that 25th hour.

Actually, the 24-hour effect comes with an asterisk.  To attain this lofty goal, my bottle says I have to use other products–presumably from the same manufacturer— to condition and spray my hair.  I’ll take my changes, thank  you very much.

On the back of the bottle, I am assured that by using this product, I will have what the company calls, “healthier hair with every wash.”

Boy, do I feel better.

Dad bod –what is it?

Dad bod definition

Dad bod is a word I am hearing and seeing more and more.  I like to discuss dad_bod_definitiontrending words, so today it’s time to look at the definition of dad bod. says , “The term “dad bod” was virtually absent from American conversation until April 30, when a 19-year-old Clemson sophomore named Mackenzie Pearson penned a story in the Clemson Odyssey titled ‘Why Girls Love the Dad Bod.’ Her argument was counter-intuitive, suggesting that women are more attracted to men whose physiques reflect ‘a nice balance between a beer gut and working out’ than they are to hunks with washboard abs.”

A website called adds, “Dad bod is a male body type that is best described as ‘softly round.’ It’s built upon the theory that once a man has found a mate and fathered a child, he doesn’t need to worry about maintaining a sculpted physique.”

So maybe we don’t all have to have washboard abs, etc.—thank goodness.