A barrel of what?

We don’t hear much about “barrows” in the 21st century, which is no doubt why the folks having this garage sale listed a “wheel barrel” for sale.

There’s definitely a difference, though, between a wheelbarrow, which is a type of hand truck, and “wheel barrel,” which is a, a … garbage can?

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How a single letter sends meaning into retreat

Mark Twain once said that the difference between the right word and the almost right word was the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

Let’s add this to Twain’s thought: The difference between the right spelling and the almost right spelling is the difference between clarity and hilarity.

Consider the accompanying example. …

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Take my ‘chachtskis’ – please

There are no “skis” in “chachkas” or “tchotchkes” or however you want to spell it because those thingamabobs in the classified ad are pronounced “choch-kuhs,” which you’d know if you spoke Yiddish, which is what the word is.

Of course, here in the Midwest, most of us aren’t Yiddish but we still like to throw out the occasional Yiddish word because saying “chachkas” or “tchotchkes” or however you want to spell it sounds more cosmopolitan than “cheap doodads,” which is what “chachkas” or “tchotchkes” or …

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Correct spelling and other myths

Hey, wait! Is that a dictionary on the shelf? Yes! And it says our cartoon hero couldn’t have seen a Minataur. It must have been a Minotaur. The concept of

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