Monthly Archives: May 2010

All words have meaning

Pledge of allegiance to the flag.   Long ago and far away, we started every school day by reciting the pledge of allegiance to the stars and stripes.   Heck, I am so old, I remember (mid-1950s?) when they added “under God” to it.

This Youtube video has probably been around for a while but it gets to me to watch it.  Red Skelton did some funny and zany things but this one is from the heart.

I hope as you watch it you think of your freedoms and the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day for you and me.

Youtube pledge of allegiance

Yonder–where is that?


is not a word I heard growing up in Iowa. The first times I think I really heard it said was when I joined the Air Force.  It seems many of the “southern boys” were partial to it.  They were also partial to the Confederate flag, as I remember.

Anyway, I thought I should find out what the definition of yonder is.  It is: being in a place over there or at an indicated distance, usually within sight.

 I guess that makes sense because you never hear a guy from Texan say he saw something over yonder in Oklahoma.s.

Here is a bonus/extra credit.  Yonder can mean the sky as viewed during daylight. You know, “off we go into the wild blue yonder” in the song informally called the Air Force song.

Do you use “yonder?”

Spoofery Is it a word?


flickr KaCey97007


Sometimes I get the ideas for blog post that just comes to me. Other times, I see things that prompt a post. The last way I get them is through the comments and thoughts of colleagues and friends

My new friend Bernie Smith sent me this one via Twitter.  Bernie is relocating to Colorado from my home town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  We recently had lunch in Loveland, where we met face-to-face for the first time.

A couple of days ago, Bernie said he wondered about the word spoofery.  Is it a real word?  Thanks to, and a few other sources I found the word.

 It means a hoax or deception.   It can also be light humorous parody or good-natured mockery or teasing.

 An example that comes to mind for me is the movie Airplane or Naked Gun.  I guess my favorite reading material as a kid, Mad magazine, would be in that category too.

 There is a lot of spoofery (some not too good-natured) in the political arena.  The poster of President Obama as the Joker probably is one of these.   

 What spoofery do you think of?

P.S.  Word spellchecker does not think spoofery is a word.

Plethora of blog posts?


flickr oskey


is a funny word.  First it can be pronounced with the accent on the first or second syllable.  (I prefer the first)I think the first time I heard the word, it was uttered by Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football.  Howard was good with the words.

I bet many use this word incorrectly. 

The correct meaning of the word plethora is

    overabundance; excess

    superabundance  overfullness

    too full

    embarrassment of riches


Most use it to mean many or a lot.  For example, they say, “A plethora of ideas were generated at the meeting.”  I think they mean many, not too many.

Are you using plethora correctly?

Print disabled — A new word for me

Print disabled? 

stewart flickr

You never know where a blog idea will pop up.  At our weekly meeting at the Berthoud Surveyor newspaper to talk about story ideas, this one appeared.

A press release or some literature was shared about a possible story.  In it, the term print disabled was used.   None of the astute people sitting around the table has ever heard of this term.    (I mused that it might be a politically correct term or euphemism for something else.)

Well, here is what my research found.

The term print disabled (No hyphen unless used as an adjective) was coined by George Kerscher, PhD.  He came up with the word sometime in 1988 or 1989 to describe a person who could not access print.

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