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.

 

In this year of electile dysfunction, with midterm elections hurrying near, political jokes can be very powerful. That’s why so many of them get elected. Will Rogers explained, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Jay Leno observed, “If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.”

Here’s a classic and classical riddle: What’s the difference between a centaur and a senator? One is half man and half horse’s ass — and the other is a creature in mythology.

And have you ever wondered: If pro and con are opposites, is congress the opposite of progress?

Mark Twain loved to pick on members of Congress: “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session,” he declared, as well as “Talk is cheap, except when Congress does it” and “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” His sharpest congressional barb goes like this: “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo strives to bring stability to North Korea, Iran, Syria — and punctuation. You read that right: the secretary of state is a stickler about commas and is fed up with the rampant misuse of commas by State Department staffers.

Pompeo’s emails are laced with examples of correct usage and comma-tose abusage:

  • “We activated the alarm, but the intruder was already inside.” correct: The comma separates two independent clauses joined by the coordinating conjunction but.
  • “The wartime rations included cabbages, turnips, and bread.” correct: Pompeo and I are staunch advocates of the Oxford serial comma, which is justly employed in this sentence to separate three nouns in a series.
  • “He stood up and opened his mouth, but failed to remember his question.” incorrect: Don’t use a comma to separate two verbs that share the same subject.
  • “We continue to urge the Coalition, and all parties to the conflict, to allow full access for humanitarian relief.” incorrect: The comma is gratuitous in a compound subject with only two parts.

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Congratulations to the Los Angeles Dodgers for winning the National League pennant and going to the World Series..Many baseball fans believe that the team name Dodgers refers to the players’ ability to dodge a tag or steal a base. Au contraire.

Before relocating to Los Angeles in 1957, the Dodgers were the Brooklyn Dodgers In May, 1895, after the baseball club had moved to Eastern Park in Brooklyn, the team name became the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers. That’s because pedestrians back in those days were not used to fast-moving vehicles such as the electricity-driven trolleys in Eastern Park. By April 1895, those trolleys had killed 107 people and injured about 450.

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This past October 10, this newspaper commemorated its sesquicentennial (“one hundred” + “half again”) by reprinting the October 10, 1868, inaugural issue of The San Diego Union. Because our nation began as the first great modern democracy, the free press was born here.

When you think about it, the existence of a daily newspaper is a miracle. A newspaper is a colossal product that is manufactured almost from scratch every day. From time to time, readers wing me goofs and gaffes that slither into newspapers, but it’s still incredible that, among the millions of words that pour forth from the nation’s presses each day, almost every one of them is free of grammar fluffs and spelling flubs.

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I used to be a Scrabble champion, but I became inconsonant and I can’t move my vowels anymore.

Merriam-Webster published its first Official Scrabble Players Dictionary in 1976. Before that, players could consult any desk dictionary. M-W has just released the 6th edition, four years after the last freshening up. Scrabble players can now rethink their game because 300 new words are coming their way, including some long-awaited gems: OK, ew, twerk and bestie, to name a few.