How *Am* I?

In which I do not seriously ask that question, thank God Language is weird. My relationship to language learning has always been marked both by eagerness and a measure of trepidation, an uncertainty born of having to consciously try. I grew up in a monolingual household—it’s been at least two generations since either side ofContinue reading “How *Am* I?”

Words & Phrases That Need to Die

In which I do a snatch of etymological spring cleaning Welcome back to the quarantine club, all. As the current, possibly false, warm spell increasingly causes us to actually take note of the outside world, we may find—at least I have—that a bit of spring cleaning is in order. Which I think goes especially forContinue reading “Words & Phrases That Need to Die”

Cathedral, Karneval, Köln

In which I contemplate a schism My time as a Berliner has given me to understand that Berlin is no more Germany than London is England. This past Friday and Saturday proved it. Or so I expected. What I found upon arriving was not a staunchly German counterpart to the capital city on the oppositeContinue reading “Cathedral, Karneval, Köln”

And Then There *Was* None

In which I defend (what I perceive to be) a misused contraction Contemporary English is known for its contractions and portmanteaux (oh, and theft). As the language has developed and spread, these shortenings—much like the shortening in a recipe—have been transformed to serve many different purposes. One is so commonly abused, however, that it’s hardlyContinue reading “And Then There *Was* None”

A Few Choice Italian Words

In which I reflect on a recent viaggio with my parole preferite I spent last weekend in Florence with my sister, who is studying there, and my dad, who took a transatlantic getaway. A smaller city than I remembered, but hey, I’ve done some growing and traveling since my last visit. Over those 8½ yearsContinue reading “A Few Choice Italian Words”