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31 08, 2020

Words for Words

By |2020-08-31T06:47:45-05:00August 31st, 2020|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

Remember how we learned the parts of speech  for different words in school?Judythe Morgan, judythewriter.com,

  • Nouns: a person, place, thing, or idea.
  • Pronoun: a word used in place of a noun.
  • Verb: words that express action or being.
  • Adjectives: words to describe nouns or pronouns.
  • Adverbs: words to describe a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.
  • Prepositions: words placed before a noun or pronoun to form a phrase modifying another word in the sentence.
  • Conjunctions: that join words, phrases, or clauses.
  • Interjections: words used to express emotion.

And we thought that covered all the word groups. Well, we were wrong. I’ve discovered there are many more words to describe the words we use.

Retronym: a modifier added to describe what was once its default meaning, i.e. cloth diaper since most diapers now are disposable, snail mail because, you know, email, whole milk because almond milk and other flavors, regular coffee, plain M&Ms also because of the additional flavors now. Get the idea?

But be cautious, a retronym is not always merely adjective/noun combinations. It’s a word with a qualifier to refer to the original meaning of the word. Thus, chocolate chip is not a retronym, neither is cellular phone.

Tmesis: a new word formed by placing one word in the middle of another.

Not a new concept, Shakespeare used one in “Richard II”—How-heinous-ever. So did George Bernard Shaw in “Pygmalion”: Fan-bloody-tastic or abso-blooming-lutely.

Capitonym: word that changes meaning, and sometimes pronunciation, when capitalize, i.e. mobile meaning moving or Mobile meaning the city in Alabama. Others include August, the month, or august the adjective meaning respected and important.

Bahuvrihi: just saying this correctly should earn you points. If you want help, try here. The word is Sanskrit and a bahuvrihi itself. The word means “much rice” but refers to a rich man. Examples would be barefoot, graybeard, redhead or blue-collar/white-collar or old money.

Embolaliawords or sounds added into speech. It’s stammered speech as we arrange our thoughts. Examples: well, but, I guess, um, you know.

Metonym or Metonymy:  using the name of one object or concept for that of another to which it is related, or of which it is a part, i.e. the bottle for strong drink, count heads (or noses) for count people, hoops for basketball, Capitol Hill for US. Congress.

Mondegreen:  is a mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase in a way that gives it a new meaning. Mondegreens are generally understood not to be intentional.

Around our family the song “Elvira” is forever called It’ll fire up. Other examples dawnzer lee light for the mishearing of “dawn’s early light” lyric of the “Star- Spangled Banner” or The ants are my friends for “The answer, my friend” in “Blowing in the Wind” by Bob Dylan.

Portmanteau:  two or more words are joined to coin a new word, which refers to a single concept, i.e. education + entertainment = edutainment, fan + magazine = fanzine, motor + hotel = motel, spoon + fork= spork 

Slurvian: basically, this is a portmanteau that is slurred together. Examples d’ja slurred form of did you, wanna for want to, and the ubiquitous y’all for you all. Of course, that last example of a slurvian is standard English where I live. 😊

I’m a wordsmith and a word game player. I love learning new words.

Now you, too, know a few new words in case you want to wow your next Zoom meeting and drop one in. I’m not sure they’ll appreciate them as much as I do, though.

28 08, 2020

New Neighbors

By |2020-08-25T20:41:15-05:00August 28th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


The chicks quickly outgrew the brooder. I didn’t fully understand the ramifications of this until they started dying.

Rachel took one look at them when she was visiting us and said, “they are too crowded.”  The question became where to put them.

The chicks that were obviously roosters went into the rooster pen.

Rachel suggested putting the hens in with the ducks since that part of the pen was secured against escape. And there is a small coop in there to lock the chicks up at night.  I was concerned that the ducks would bother the chicks.  Rachel assured me the ducks would be afraid of the chicks.

Sure enough, Rachel was right.judythemorgan.com

The chicks stayed in their corner…

judythemorgan.com And the ducks stayed in theirs.

So far everyone is getting along.  The coop has been repaired so when they start bothering each other, we can move the chicks out into the big yard and safely lock them up at night.

Another successful move on Miller Farm.

24 08, 2020

Familiar Things in Pandemic Times

By |2020-08-24T10:13:20-05:00August 24th, 2020|A Writer's Life, Finn and Buster, Writer's Life|0 Comments

The limbo of this pandemic keeps just hanging on. Familiar is gone.

It’s hard to adjust to this new normal. At least around our house. Hubby-dear gets out of the car twice when we make our necessary supply runs. Once like normal-happy and carefree. Then again when he returns to put his mask on. I do the same.

We miss the old ways and familiar.Finnegan MacCool, judythemorgan.com

Our Finnegan MacCool does too. How do I know? I found his baby lovey, a blue elephant, beside his bean bag recently.

The little elephant came with him when we picked him up four years ago and it was always the one toy from his basket of toys that he’d carry with him. The breeder’s daughter bought it for him.

We met Finn at eight weeks but, with a long car trip from Colorado to Texas scheduled, asked the breeder to keep him an extra couple of weeks before we took him home. We didn’t think it’d be good idea for a young puppy to be confined in a car for such a long drive.

She agreed and her daughter, Taylor, said she’d watch out for our baby Finn. Taylor was in junior dog handling training for their show Old English sheepdogs. She was thrilled to have Finn to work with.

When we picked him up, she wanted to be sure he had his special lovey to comfort him in case he missed her. At first, he did miss Taylor. Blue elephant was always with him no matter what other toys he had. Other times of stress like the move back to Texas, he’d find his blue elephant to keep close.

Then as he settled into his new surroundings, he kinda forgot about blue elephant. Until this pandemic and blue elephant has reappeared.

judythemorgan.comI don’t blame him. I’m looking for familiar things too. Are you?

21 08, 2020

Rough Week on Miller Farm

By |2020-08-17T10:23:25-05:00August 21st, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|4 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Last week was rough on Miller farm. It started with the death of one of our roosters.

While this is unfortunate, it was not terribly upsetting. None of the current roosters have names and I am not attached to them.

Then we lost three of the chicks that were in the brooder.  This was a little concerning.

After consulting with Rachel, the chicks have been relocated and are now receiving high protein pellets.  That’s a blog for another Friday.

Chicken Wrangler Sara and Lili, judythemorgan.comThen my beloved Lily died.

She is the hen who let me hug her every morning for a while.

I’m not sure whether it was age, heat, or simply 2020 that caused her death.

I am sad and I will miss her, but there is still much life on Miller Farm.

Lili chicken, judythemorgan.com

RIP Lily

17 08, 2020

Walking, walking

By |2020-08-17T07:31:23-05:00August 17th, 2020|A Writer's Life, Exercise, Writer's Life|0 Comments

Walking is my most favorite exercise next to being in the swimming pool. When we lived in the mountains, some days I walked 5+ miles. Lovely weather, lovely views.

My four-legged boys always went with me. Most times, hubby-dear did. We walked no matter the weather.

walking in the snow with an Old English Sheepdog, judythe morganThat’s Toby and Buster walking with me. Toby crossed over the Rainbow Bridge before we moved to Texas.

Old English sheepdog, Judythe Morgan, man walking his dogNow, Finnegan MacCool joins Buster and me.

We don’t have the cool weather walks any more or the mountains. Our view is filled with massive, hundred-year-old oaks that shade our way.

And we go early in the mornings before the sun rises enough to crest the treetops.

Buster’s thirteen so he doesn’t move as fast. Finn turns around and checks on us often. He does not grasp social distancing.

Even though we’re in the dog days of AugOld English sheepdog, judythe morganust with its heat indexes in the triple digits where we live now, I still enjoy getting out of the house for lots of reasons.

Walking’s safe and an easy form of exercise. No added athletic skill needed, no training, or special equipment required. Well, you do need a good pair of walking shoes, but then you need good shoes anyway.

Walking is easy…you might say automatic. No thinking involved with the exception that you do need to make sure you don’t trip or walk into something.

Walking allows our five senses to experience what’s around us. The sound of a bird’s song, the breeze rustling the leaves. The scent of fresh cut grass. The sweet aroma of honeysuckle blooming on a neighborhood fence.

Walking reminds us of the real world around us. One that isn’t from the news or a movie or a tv series. Sequestered inside we sometimes forget the good that’s outside our door.

Walking can help us feel better physically and mentally. When I walk the dogs placing one foot in front of the other and taking in the sights refreshes my brain and my spirit.

Walking can take our minds off these troubling times of this pandemic.

My walking companions and I recommend going for a walk. We always feel better when we do. You might too.

14 08, 2020

Ear Training

By |2020-08-06T06:54:01-05:00August 14th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Part of my music education was ear training.  This involved identifying different instruments, different parts of a music selection and even specific notes and rhythms in a song. These are very useful skills as a music teacher.  I teach these skills to my students on a simpler level and the youngest classes get very excited about writing rhythms.

These astute listening skills can be a detriment, however. When a song we play on the praise team at church does not end the way my ear believes it should,  I confess there are times when I quietly resolve the chord just for my own peace of mind.

I can also identify nonmusical sounds.

For example, a couple of weeks ago Beekeeper Brian and I were lying in bed, reading, and we heard an unusual noise.  It sounded like the ceiling fan was blowing a piece of paper but that wasn’t the case.

We looked around for a minute then the sound stopped.  When it started up again, my aural memory kicked in and I said “that’s a click beetle.”

For those who don’t know, it is a beetle that makes a clicking noise as it tries to get from its back to its stomach. I guess it is a step up from a roach that just stays on its back until it dies.

Here’s a picture of one in the kitchen.

judythewriter.com, judythemorgan.comEric Carle has written a book about a click beetle. I read it to my students.

judythewriter.com, judythemorgan.com So we began a search of the floor and sure enough there was a click beetle under the bed.  I think Beekeeper Brian was a little surprised.

I, on the other hand, was thankful the skills I learned earning my music degrees continue to be useful.

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