In a word

Sketch portrait of the author

In the summer of 2022, I was given the opportunity to write a series of 500-word columns for the “In a word” feature in the Monitor Weekly, filling in while my friend Melissa Mohr was taking a sabbatical to work on her next book. (If you don’t know her book on swearing, “Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing”, you should definitely check it out.)

There are seven columns. I give here links to the six that are (as of now) available on the web and also to PDF offprints. Note that as usual in the business, I had no input or say about the titles that were given to my pieces.

  1. "‘If’ brings us into the realm of possibilities" (pdf)
  2. “Need just the right word? German probably has it." (pdf)
  3. “Human experience is shared, even if words aren’t” (pdf)
  4. “Meet the ‘noble cousins’ on the family tree of words” (pdf)
  5. “The words that evoke ‘sound pictures’" (pdf)
  6. “Words help construct the reality we live in” (pdf)
  7. “Other attempts to convey irony in writing” (pdf)

When I find the time, I plan to provide some commentary and links to relevant sources and follow-up reading.