Tag: Word of the Month

Word of the Month: Ephemeral vs. Ethereal

David Zapatka Reader, friend and fellow table tennis player, June Wagner, explains that the words “ephemeral” and “ethereal” are sometimes used inappropriately since they sound so familiar. They are very different. “Ephemeral” (əˈfem(ə)rəl) refers to something that is brief, fleeting or quickly passing. “Ethereal” (əˈthirēəl) refers to something lacking material substance, marked by unusual delicacy…

Word of the Month: Phaeton

David Zapatka Reader, friend and fellow pickleball enthusiast, Bob Zimmerman, suggested a fascinating word with an interesting history for this month’s column; phaeton. Having driven a beautiful Phaeton motor home for many years after retiring, Bob researched not only the RV amenities, he wanted to know all about its namesake as well. Of all the…

Word of the Month

“I couldn’t care less” David Zapatka Reader, friend and pickleball mixed doubles partner, Dianne Zimmerman, suggested we investigate the colloquialisms “I could care less” and “I couldn’t care less” asking which one is correct. People mean the same thing when they use either of these expressions. They could not care any less than they do…

Word of the Month – April 2015

David Zapatka Reader and fellow Wisdom Seeker book-reading club member, Margaret Simkins, suggested a very long yet interesting word many of us may not recognize but are likely familiar with when listening to comedians or satirists; paraprosdokian. Paraprosdokian (/pærəprɒsˈdoʊkiən/) is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is…

Word of the Month – March 2015

David Zapatka Reader and fellow Pickleball player Connie Wilkinson brought up an interesting topic. There are so many words with the prefix “dis” that are not words when dis is removed or are they words? How about disgruntled, dismayed, disturbed distilled, discombobulated, disrupted and distinguished? Connie asks, “Did you ever hear of anyone being gruntled,…

Word of the Month – February 2015

Liminality David Zapatka There is a modern scholarly concept known as liminality. Interestingly enough you may not be able to find this word in your dictionary. You may be able to find liminal, limen, supraliminal and subliminal. Liminal means of or relating to a sensory threshold; barely perceptible; of or relating to being an intermediate…

Word of the Month – January 2015

David Zapatka Reader and friend Susan Hoffelt caught me after a duplicate bridge game and told me she loved words and would like for me to write about one of her many favorites. “I have been collecting words for years and do try to use them in conversation” said Susan. “I have pages more if…

Word of the Month – December 2014

David Zapatka The October Word of the Month article highlighting the difference between the words “historic” and “historical” sparked this question from reader Marilyn Conner. “What is the difference between ‘illegal’ and ‘unlawful’?” According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the word illegal means not “allowed by law; not legal.” The word unlawful means “not lawful; illegal.”…

Word of the Month – November 2014

“Propinquity” David Zapatka Thank you readers for the many e-mails, calls and supportive comments you offered in response to my first Word of the Month column. I am humbled and invigorated. Reader and friend Suzanne Swanson called the day the Splash was delivered offering one of her favorite words. “Propinquity” means nearness in place or time;…

Word of the Month – October 2014

David Zapatka Every month the Splash arrived at our home and the first thing I did was look for the WOTM column. Fascinating! Interesting! Intriguing! Always a great read. I communicated with columnist W. Smith on many occasions when I offered my contributions. When W. Smith told me the column was being discontinued, I was distraught.…