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In Next Month's TVR



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Joseph Epstein

Joseph Epstein
The word downsizing, both an excuse and not a very happy euphemism for firing people, needs, I have decided, a mate: upsizing. The country seems to be in a serious upsizing phase. When and where and how it began, I don't pretend to know, but I have a lurking — as opposed to a somersaulting — suspicion that it may have begun with the naming of the size of cups at Starbuck's.


Richard Lederer

Richard Lederer
Back in 1907, one A. C. Pearson asked readers to identify the word described in his little poem:
A turning point in every day,
Reversed I do not alter.
One half of me says haste away!
The other bids me falter.
The answer is "noon." Half the word is "on" ("haste away!"), and half is "no" ("bids me falter"). Together, they form a word that reads the same forwards and backwards.


Michael J. Sheehan

Michael J. Sheehan
Our parents taught us not to speak negatively of others, but what's a person to do when ignorance, the absence of knowledge, rears its empty head? Any thesaurus will provide us with substantives such as blockheadedness, denseness, doltishness, dumbness, dullness, stupidity, shallowness, incomprehension, unintelligence, and unenlightenment, but when we need heftier words or more striking language, where do we turn?



The January issue of The Vocabula Review is due online January 20.


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