To Be or Not …

(Infographic from the

(Infographic from the

You must have been hiding under a rock last week not to have noticed that April 23 was the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. From international celebrations to news programs, The Bard was honored for his plays, sonnets and poems.  The observance, of course, will continue through 2016 and certainly will lead to many people discovering that “what’s old is new.”

One doesn’t have to be a fan of Shakespeare to have been influenced by his works.  We found a delightful article in Entrepreneur magazine that features 15 of his most inspirational quotes, some of which you might choose to use in your own life.

Among our favorites:

Don’t take on too much: “Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.” — Romeo and Juliet

Meet deadlines: “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” — The Merry Wives of Windsor

Anticipate success: “Fortune brings in some boats that are not steer’d.” – Cymbeline

Visit  to read the complete article.

The fact that we are celebrating Shakespeare centuries after his death proves that great writing is timeless!


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Learn the ‘new words’


All of the words that we will use in our lives haven’t been created. Just because you learned to spell a zillion words in school doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for the rest of your life.

A blog from Cambridge Dictionaries Online, called About Words, gives us new words that are being spoken or have been found in print in American or British English. Some of these words will make their way into the dictionary because of their popularity. Others will be used and die quickly.

An example of a recent “new word” is “instafamous.” This word is an adjective and means achieving some degree of fame by posting selfies to Instagram.  Another new word from this week is “dude-fussing.” This is not a word meaning a guy who is upset over something. “Dude-fussing” is an adjective to describe “inefficient, unfocused action designed to give the illusion of useful activity.” An example would be a person constantly trying to straighten a tablecloth when the cloth had no wrinkles.

If you check out the About Words blog, you will know interesting words that you can add to your conversation and sound so smart!







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Words of political debate

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Many people are watching the debates of the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates — events that have sent some people searching the Web for word meanings.

Implacable was a word that emerged in a heated exchange on climate between candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Clinton defended President Obama’s record on the environment but said that his work had met with “implacable hostility” from the Republicans in Congress.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines implaccable as “opposed to someone or something in a very angry or determined way that cannot be changed.” The word has been used in the English language since the 15th century. It origins are in the Latin word implacabilis,  meaning “irreconcilable.”
Another word, rotten borough, has been referenced in connection with the New York presidential primary. First used in 1784, rotten borough is an election district that has many fewer inhabitants than other election districts with the same voting power.
The National Review used the word this way in talking about the presidential primary in New York: “She won two elections in what was a large rotten borough in New York.”
Last but not least is sniveling. In comments to reporters, Ted Cruz called Donald Trump a “sniveling coward.” A sniveling person acts in an emotional or whining manner. Not surprising is that it is derived from the words sniffle and sniff.
In between the lines of debate and campaigning, we are likely to hear other interesting words before the November election.

 (Illustration by vectorolie,

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“Hie” — I’m in a hurry!


Here is a word that we stumbled upon, but had forgotten it and its usage.

The word is “hie,” and it is not short for a greeting of welcome, though it sounds the same when spoken. It means “to hasten” or “to move quickly.”

Its usage is traced back to the 12th century, and it was used frequently in the 16th to 19th centuries by writers such as Shakespeare and Mark Twain. If you read literature from this time period, you will find it being used as the Editorial Assistant, Mom Karen, did. But “hie” is not ready for the crypt yet. Writers today will use “hie” if their works are set in the past.

On a personal note, I had to hie out the door at an incredibly early hour this morning to get to the groomer. The Editorial Assistant said that I had to look my best for the  2016 Read-In on Thursday at the S.C. Statehouse. More than 2,500 students, teachers, library representatives, parents and special guests will be there to celebrate all that is wonderful about reading.

I can’t wait to go! It sounds like a reason for some very special “snackees.”



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A spelling challenge

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We read words and write some very common ones on a regular basis. Maybe you even believe that you are a very good speller.

Take the online “Spell It” test from Merriam-Webster and find out for certain. You will quickly discover your spelling skills. The tests are random. Once you complete one test, you can move on to another.

Visit to take the challenge. Answer quickly and you will earn.extra points.

Best of all, there’s absolutely no pressure!

(Illustration by Stuart Miles,

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For the political season and more


We came across a word that we had not heard in awhile, but we love the sound of it. The word is bumptious, meaning proud or confident with such loudness or rudeness  that it offends other people.

Doesn’t this sound perfect for use during the political season! For example: The Senate incumbent ended his bumptious rhetoric when the polls showed that he was losing to the opposing candidate.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, etymologists believe that the word  was coined about from “bump,” a noun, and “tious.” It was first used around 1800.

The opposite of the word would be “humble” or “modest.”

Before the election in November, we are likely to hear much bumptious talk

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