Monthly Archives: June 2010

Freelancing is not free


flicrk keith williamson

Freelance has become a part of my vocabulary in past few years.  Since I submit articles to the Berthoud Surveyor newspaper  and some other sources, I guess I am a freelancer.

I recently asked a question about whether those of us who get paid to write should call ourselves freelance writers or just writers.  This question was posed at both my wonderful writers’ critique group and the monthly  Northern Colorado Writers coffee meeting.

Many felt that by tagging freelance on the label used for business cards and profiles on social media, it lets people know you are for hire.  (By the pay some organizations offer, I think they focus on the FREE part too much.)

Under the category of great minds thinking alike, my friend of more than 40 years, Jim Willard researched and wrote part of his Trivially Speaking column in the Reporter-Herald newspaper on the history of this topic.  Here is the excerpt from his recent column (with permission):

Continue reading

In line or on line

In line vs. on line?  I never knew I had a choice.  It just seems right to say I am waiting IN LINE. 

One of my new readers and fans, Matt Rankert, pointed out to me that in some part so of the U.S, especially the East, they say the are standing on line, not in line.  Some time ago, I did a post about regional words that falls in this category too.

Here is Matt’s email that prompted this post:

Continue reading

En Garde Grab your sword

flickr jim.gordon

Sometimes when I am doing crossword puzzles, the answer is some kind of sword.  This got me to think about the different varieties of swords.  Here is some information to help you discern what type is used for what.

 The term sword seems to be somewhat generic, and there are different ones for different uses.  For the most part, a sword is a weapon consisting of a long, straight or slightly curved blade.  It can be sharp-edged on one or both sides, with one end pointed and the other fixed in a hilt or handle.

 Foil, epee and saber are types of swords used for fencing.

FOIL – Most commonly used in competition, and usually the choice for elementary classes for fencing in general.  It has a light, slender and flexible blade tipped with a button.  The foil is the lightest and most flexible of the fencing weapons.

EPEE – has a three-sided blade and a guard over the tip. It has a bowl-shaped guard and a long, narrow, fluted blade that has no cutting edge and tapers to a blunted point. The epee is heavier and more rigid version of the foil,

Continue reading

Portmanteau–do you use them when you talk?


Thanks to Roxie Ellis for this one.  The owner of Ellis Ranch Event Center and Wedding Park has a son-in-law

 Craig Campbell who is a singer in Nashville.  (Married to Mindy)   She said he as a new song called “Chillaxin.”  That is a combination of chilling and relaxing–country style.

Digging deeper, I found there is a name for combined or combination words.   The term for them is portmaneau, and it means to blend two or more words and their meanings into one new word.

I must admit that chillaxing did not come to my mind right away.  One that I did consider and have heard is gimongous (giant and humongous).

Continue reading

Parlor What is it?


flickr northhampton museum

Words and phrases come and go like names. Some are popular for a few years and then they seem “old.”  Parlor is such a word.  My grandmother used it, but now it is almost a non-word.

 For those under 50 (60?) here are some definitions:

 A room to receive and entertain visitors in the home.  A sitting room. (sometimes synonymous with living room)

A room or building that serves as a place of business such as funeral parlor, beauty parlor, ice cream parlor or tattoo parlor.   (What an odd mix)

 A lounge in a hotel or club.

Continue reading