Welcome to the website woven for wordaholics, logolepts, and verbivores. Carnivores eat meat; herbivores eat plants and vegetables; verbivores devour words. If you are heels over head (as well as head over heels) in love with words, tarry here a while to graze or, perhaps, feast on the English language. Ours is the only language in which you drive in a parkway and park in a driveway and your nose can run and your feet can smell.

2020

 

There are plenty of museums that house visual art. Now words are finally getting their due. The 51,000-square foot interactive museum dedicated to words will open on October 22, in Washington, DC. Planet Word is designed to educate visitors about language, with exhibits focusing on the spoken, written and sung word. 

The museum will feature 11 galleries with distinct immersive experiences. One will allow guests to paint a scene with words using small brushes that change the virtual landscape. There’s also karaoke and the opportunity to recite famous speeches from the likes of JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr. The museum will also offer “Wordshops” in its classrooms and performances, author readings and community discussions in its auditorium.

I’m pleased to report that a poem of mine will be displayed on a 22-foot-tall wall of words in Planet World:

  A Tense Time with Verbs

The verbs in English are a fright.
How can we learn to read and write?
Today we speak, but first we spoke.
Some faucets leak, but never loke.
Today we write, but first we wrote.
We bite our tongues, but never bote.

Each day I teach, for years I taught,
And preachers preach, but never praught.
This tale I tell; this tale I told;
I smell the flowers, but never smold.
If knights still slay, as once they slew,
Then do we play, as once we plew?
If I still do as once I did,
Then do cows moo, as they once mid?

I love to win, and games I’ve won.
I seldom sin, and never son.
I hate to lose, and games I lost.
I didn’t choose, and never chost.

I love to sing, and songs I sang.
I fling a ball, but never flang. 
I strike that ball, that ball I struck.
This poem I like, but never luck.

I take a break, a break I took.
I bake a cake, but never book.
I eat that cake, that cake I ate.
I beat an egg, but never bate.

I often swim, as I once swam.
I skim some milk, but never skam.
I fly a kite that I once flew.
I tie a knot, but never tew.

I see the truth, the truth I saw.
I flee from falsehood, never flaw.
I stand for truth, as I once stood.
I land a fish, but never lood.

About these verbs I sit and think.
These verbs don’t fit. They seem to wink
At me, who sat for years and thought
Of verbs that never fat or wought.

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This coming Monday, October 19, 3-4 pm, I’ll be appearing on KPBS Public Radio to talk about my new books, A Treasury of Halloween Humor and A Treasury of Christmas Humor. I invite you to tune in.

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In my recent column, I used blue moon as an example of colorful English. The expression has nothing to do with the actual color of the moon, but whenever certain natural conditions align, such as volcanic eruptions or titanic fires sending particles into the atmosphere, the moon can actually appear to be tinged with blue.

A blue moon is the second full moon in a single month, a phenomenon that occurs, well, once in a blue moon. We bathed in the light of a full moon on October 1 and will experience  a blue moon on October 31, Halloween. Spooky!