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The Vocabula Review

 

David Carkeet

David Carkeet

Day 1

We arrive at the hotel in mid-afternoon. I can't sleep. I leave my wife in the room and wander the streets. Young Romans stop me and ask in English what time it is. It's as if they can see the jet lag on my face and know I am confused about the time. I've read that Italians are fond of subtle mockery. Here it is already.


Michael J. Sheehan

Michael J. Sheehan

I have always been intrigued by offbeat words, especially those excruciatingly specific nouns that fill a void I never knew was there.

Need a word for the fine wood powder left by boring insects? Of course you do; try frass. What about that indentation at the bottom of a wine bottle? It's called a punt. Crossword puzzle fans all know that an aglet is the plastic or metal sheath at the tip of a shoelace. And who would have thought that the world needed a word like haw, a dog's inner eyelid.


Tina Bennett-Kastor

Tina Bennett-Kastor

My cat stares at the door and meows in a demanding tone. The door opens and he saunters out. He is like the dervishes in cartoons I watched as a child, calling, "Open, Sesame!" at closed palace doors, which obediently spread themselves wide to allow entry, or perhaps like God at the creation commanding, "Let there be light!" And there was light.



The March issue of The Vocabula Review is due online March 16.


 

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