When Is a Word a Word? (Or a Drinking Fountain a Bubbler?)

I spent this past weekend in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula, enjoying the trees and the fresh air (and adding a few pieces to my wardrobe at art fairs and consignment shops).11781736_10154309742148849_8790195151870082653_n I love the UP, and I’ve been spending time there—usually during the summer and holidays—ever since I was little. However, until last year, I had never given much thought Continue reading


A Love Story about Pronouns: My Whirlwind Romance with the Singular “They”

I feel I should explain this right away: my floor length velvet cape doesn’t have anything to do with pronouns—however, it is a perfect instance of a whirlwind romance, very similar to what happened with me and the singular “they.” A few months ago, 11084246_10153933299733849_1821860834193739249_n Continue reading

Pants, Slacks, or Trousers?: George Sand and Rhetorical Grammar

In 1991, I saw a movie called Impromptu. It focused on French Romantic novelist George SandGeorge_Sand_by_Nadar,_1864 (played by Judy Davis in the movie—the real George Sand is pictured in a well-known photo by Nadar) and the group of writers, artists, and composers who spent time in and around Paris in the 1830s. I was living in Madison, Wisconsin  Continue reading

Too Many Bracelets? Or Not Enough?


If I leave my apartment without bracelets—even if I’m wearing earrings, necklaces, scarves, and other accessories—I feel as if something is missing all day. I don’t know why, but bracelets are just Continue reading