Bigger than words

I could be called a word man, I suppose — whether writing, reading, editing, teaching, or preaching, I’m dealing with words. And I like words. Love them, and the way they can be so expressive or descriptive or evocative. But sometimes words fail. How can...

To Bill Maher, Here’s Why Words Still Matter

It is common knowledge that the perennial Food Network star, Paula Deen, has used a condescending and derogatory term toward African Americans and spoken warmly of the world of the genteel antebellum (pre-Civil War) South. Before this news-making revelation, Deen and...

How You Can Be a Good Steward of Your Words

If we priced and valued words as we do commodities, on the basis of supply and demand, then words would be dirt-cheap these days.  There are more words available in the cultural marketplace than ever before: round-the-clock TV news and talk radio, stacks and stacks of...

Launch Any Good ‘Firewords’ Lately?

I make a lot of typographical errors. So, I am not hard on others, particularly bloggers and Facebook writers, who don’t have the advantage – or disadvantage – of an editor. A friend was writing about watching a July 4 fireworks show. When he typed a...