Mastering Edwardian Speech

When one lives with an Edward, one is immersed in all things Edwardian. You live in an Edwardian house, noted for their train track covered floors and high pitched shrieking; you eat Edwardian food, mainly hot dogs; and you are well versed in Edwardian fashion, which is to say, constant nudity. But one cannot live […]

Cut It Out, Those Words Don’t Rhyme Anymore

One of the most important ways that cunning linguists and budding etymologists interested in orthoepy can determine the way in which words used to be pronounced, is through the use of what words used to rhyme. It’s true. You can look at old hymns and songs and poems and look at words that were obviously […]

The Various Meanings of “Don’t”

I love the English language. No, seriously, I do. I have so much fun with its quirks. I enjoy how several different words can be spelled differently, and yet pronounced the same. I love how several different words can be spelled the same, and yet pronounced differently. And of course, I love how one single […]

A Singer’s Guide to Fake Russian

As a professional singer, you are called to sing in many languages, including some in which you are not fluent. This can be a challenge at first, until you realize that most languages are basically the same and English is the connecting thread for almost all of them. The English language is a living, evolving portmanteau […]

Why You Should Marry The Guy With the Worst Pick-Up Line

I’m sure you’ve heard at least one of them in your time. Perhaps you have said one of them. Maybe you know them all. The bad pick-up line. Any of these sound familiar? “I hope you have a license, because you are driving me crazy.” “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I […]

Everyone I’ve Ever Known Is My Friend

When I was in high school, I knew who my friends were. I knew who my close friends were, and I knew who my enemies were. I was acutely aware of the shifting social lines that connected all of us, and so I was never confused as to who were my true friends. But now, […]

Maybe is the New Yes

Ahhhhhh, maybe.  That magical word that lives in the nether realms between yes and no, and which always means one or the other and you know it.  To paraphrase a great Jedi master I once knew, “Yes or yes not.  There is no maybe.”  ‘Maybe’ is a code word that, as far as I knew […]

And a Grunted Hum to You Too

Way back at the dawn of the civilized English language, people used to greet each other with wordy, extended phrases, such as “May God give you a good morning,” or even just “Have a good morning.”  These greetings were not limited to the morning of course, as people would often wish each other a good […]

Hot Lava Banana Cheese Sandwich

I was making grilled cheese sandwiches for my children the other day, when I made the classic opera parenting mistake of enunciating my words a little too clearly.  “Ok,” I said happily, “your grilleD cheeses are ready!” “Why did you call them grilleD cheeses?” my daughter asked me, clearly annoyed that I do not know […]