Good Loving Woman

Good Loving Woman

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Word of the Weak: OMPHALOSKEPSIS

May 18, 2013

om·pha·lo·skep·sis [om-fuh-loh-skep’-sis]

(noun) contemplation of the navel for the purpose of attaining philosophic calm.

1925, from omphalo- + Greek -skepsis, from skeptesthai “to reflect, look, view”

Mystics of the Middle Ages practiced omphaloskepsis, believing that concentrating on a single focal point such as the navel would help them experience divine light and glory.

Greek mythology holds that Zeus released two eagles, one
from the east and one from the west, and made them fly toward
each other. They met at Delphi, and the spot was marked with a
stone in the temple of the oracle there, a stone they named
omphalos,” Greek for “navel” (it supposedly marked the center
of the world). Mystics have been practicing omphaloskepsis for
centuries, but it wasn’t until the early 1920s that English
speakers combined “omphalos” with another Greek term, “skepsis”
(which means “examination,” not “skepticism”), to create a word
for studying one’s own middle and thinking deeply.


May 11, 2013

* Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
* Don’t use no double negatives.
* Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn’t.
* Reserve the apostrophe for it’s proper use and omit it when its not needed.
* Do not put statements in the negative form.
* Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
* No sentence fragments.
* Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
* Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
* If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
* A writer must not shift your point of view.
* Eschew dialect, irregardless.
* And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
* Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!!
* Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
* Writers should always hyphenate between syllables and avoid un-necessary hyph-ens.
* Write all adverbial forms correct.
* Don’t use contractions in formal writing.
* Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
* It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms.
* If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
* Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.
* Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors.
* Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
* Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
* Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
* If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.
* Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
* Don’t string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
* Always pick on the correct idiom.
* “Avoid overuse of ‘quotation “marks.”‘”
* The adverb always follows the verb.
* Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives.”

William Safire, Fumblerules: A lighthearted guide to grammar and good usage

May 10, 2013


noun [yoo-fuh-miz-uh m]  1. a mild, indirect, or vague expression substituted for one considered to be offensive, harsh, or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing 2. the expression so substituted: “To pass away” is a euphemism for “to die.”

Ex: She’s a little funny. 

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 6.06.39 PM


noun [dis-fuh-miz-uhm]  1. a derogatory or unpleasant term used instead of a pleasant or neutral one

 Ex: She’s a nut job.

Semicolon Seminar

March 24, 2013


Are you semi-curious? Some of us have been flirting with semicolons for some time, but are perhaps not entirely sure if we’ve been utilizing them to their fullest. They somehow make for separating that which is still connected a voluptuous pursuit.

We shall be breaking semicolons into 5 parts over the coming week; you can expect to find follow-up installments here, at the big buffalo. They are excerpts from diva grammarian, Karen Elizabeth Gordon’s book, The New Well-Tempered Sentence. (Mariner Books. 2003.)

The Semicolon 1

The Semicolon 2

The Semicolon 3

The Semicolon 4

The Semicolon 5

March 23, 2013

This book had torn open my ribcage a few years ago. Liv is a devoted single mum, a hard-pressed bread winner, and an alluring thinker and writer. Today, I pulled her off the shelf, blew away the dust, (sneezed), and opened to a torn, paper bookmark. This is what I saw:

“I believe that it is sometimes less difficult to wake up and feel that I am alone when I really am, than to wake up with someone else and be lonely.

I hope that two people can grow together, side by side, and bring joy to each other. Without one having to be crushed so that the other may stay strong.

Perhaps maturing is also to let others be.

To allow myself to be what I am.”

Good Loving Grammar:

That and Which

“These two words are often used interchangeably, even though they’re not necessarily interchangeable.”  Melissa Donovan. Writing Forward. 2012.

Do Tell

Remember: I Needed That and Which?

March 22, 2013 2 Comments

Word of the Weak: DOLCE FAR NIENTE

March 18, 2013

"I Am Half-Sick of Shadows," said the Lady of Shalott

noun |ˈdōlCHā fär nēˈentā|  pleasant inactivity; ORIGIN Italian, literally, sweet to do nothing

Taking leave of their usual antediluvian roustabouting. the mastodons gave themselves over to the dulce far niente of a faunal afternoon.

Dolce far niente is also one of the  most popular desserts at Café Frangipane, and comes with complimentary silk pajamas, a tumulus of cushions, a troupe of untroubled succubi and incubi to see you to your door.

from  The Disheveled Dictionary by Karen Elizabeth Gordon

“I Am Half-Sick of Shadows,” said the Lady of Shalott (Oil on canvas. 1913. Sidney Harold Meteyard.)

Joan Dideon’s “Blue Nights” (Ch. 7)

March 17, 2013


Excerpt from a short film of the same title directed by Griffin Dunne


the geocentric experience bulletin. lamplighters roadway press. 1972.


March 8, 2013

So when should you use the dash?

February 28, 2013

em dash

A dash is a punctuation mark, similar to a hyphen or minus sign but differing primarily in length and serving different functions. The most common versions of the dash are the en dash () and the em dash (), named for the length of a typeface’s lower-case n and upper-case M respectively.

The em dash, m dash, m-rule, or “mutton” () often demarcates a break of thought or some similar interpolation stronger than the interpolation demarcated by parentheses, such as the following from Nicholson Baker‘s The Mezzanine:

At that age I once stabbed my best friend, Fred, with a pair of pinking shears in the base of the neck, enraged because he had been given the comprehensive sixty-four-crayon Crayola box—including the gold and silver crayons—and would not let me look closely at the box to see how Crayola had stabilized the built-in crayon sharpener under the tiers of crayons.

The Pause Dash more or less says to the reader, “Right here, I want you to take a breath. What you will read next relates to what you have just read in an interesting way, and I would like to emphasize it.” When using dashes this way, you are allowed only one per sentenceWriters who deploy this mark comfortably and adeptly (rather than haphazardly) are conscious of the rhythm and dynamics of a sentence. A well-placed dash adds energy and voice.” (from NY Times Opinionator commentary Mad Dash by Ben Yagoda)

get it write right with these handy tools from Ben Yagoda:  How to Not Write Bad

image  peter arkle

Word of the Weak: SYBARITIC

February 24, 2013


|ˌsibəˈritik| given or devoted to pleasure, even excessively so hedonistic, voluptuous, self-indulgently sensuous (1610s, from Latin sybariticus, from Greek sybaritikos, from Sybarites); More below…

And so the two sybaritic septuagenarians stripped down to their Strumpfhosen and sank into the sumptuous (but waterless) tub—well, the young puppy of a clerk didn’t know whether to avert his gaze or climb in with them, just to clinch the sale.

Karen Elizabeth Gordon, The Disheveled Dictionary

Sybaritic glw

February 21, 2013

Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.
Anais NinAnais Nin 1971It’s the birthday of Anaïs Nin (books by this author), born in Neuilly, France (1903), the daughter of a Spanish composer and Danish-Cuban classically trained singer. She studied psychoanalysis with Otto Rank, and was a patient of Carl Jung at one time. She wrote in literary obscurity for most of her life, until her diaries began to be published in 1966. She began writing them at age 11 and continued for more than 60 years, and they include accounts of her passionate love affair with Henry Miller in Paris. (The Writer’s Almanac)

She wrote, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” And, “I write emotional algebra.”

February 19, 2013

all-day-every-day-wear:  daryl k

music:  bob d

gLw short film

February 13, 2013

Sexy Chic: Viva(cious)! Sentence Diagramming

February 8, 2013

Diagramming Adjective ClausesIrresistible? Try these:

Rex Barks by Phyllis Davenport

Grammar Revolution

Sengram app by Soferio

Masterful, must-have tool in photo is the Pentel Twist-Erase III (made in Japan, hi-polymer lead, large barrel, latex-free grip, and extra long eraser that won’t smudge, dry out, or break). Searching for the ultimate automatic pencil? Look no further.