Archive for the ‘Words’ Category

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a blog whose time has come. It has to be done. Our future, and may I say the fate of humanity, depends on it. What am I talking about, you ask?

The death of grammar. Or rather, the DEATH OF GRAMMAR.

I don’t know, that just seemed to warrant all caps. It’s that important, man. What you’re about to read are a few basic, simple guidelines to using correct grammar. I shall focus on the rules that seem to be broken most often. Let us begin . . .

You’re vs. Your

You’re means “you are.” So, when you say, “You’re sweater is cute” you are incorrect. The correct usage would be “You’re not going to eat those cheese doodles are you? Your means that something belongs to you. So don’t say, “Hey, your welcome to some of my cheese doodles.” That would be incorrect. Instead you would use it as such: “Your cheese doodles look delicious.” See? This is easy. Stay with me kids.

They’re vs. Their vs. There

They’re means “they are” as in “Have you tried my cheese doodles? They’re really good.” Their, however, means it belongs to them, as in “The Dungworth’s keep their cheese doodles in the pantry.” Incorrect usage would be something along the lines of, “I love cheese doodles. Their delicious.” Don’t do that. Want to know about there? OK. There refers to a place, an example being, “My cheese doodles are in my top drawer. Don’t go there.” Please tell me you’re taking notes.

We’re vs. Were

We’re means “we are” and should be used like this: “We’re all having cheese doodles for lunch!” Were, however, is the past tense of are, as in “Wally and Mildred were dating for awhile, but Wally was addicted to cheese doodles. Now they are dating other people.” Get it?

Random thought. Should cheese doodles be capitalized?*

*It should not. I checked.

Then vs. Than

Listen carefully. Then is a point in time, as in “I went to a store to buy cheese doodles, then I went to another store to buy more cheese doodles.” Than, however, is a method of comparison, as in, “I know you love cheese doodles but I love them more than you do.” See? I was comparing our love of cheese doodles.

Two vs. To vs. Too

This is a really easy one. You see, two is simply a number. The number 2, as in “I bought two bags of cheese doodles but I should’ve bought three.” On the other hand, to indicates motion, as in “Hank Moffit is going to the cheese doodle store.” Too can mean either also or excessively, as in “Hey, I like cheese doodles too!” Or, “I love cheese doodles way too much.” Make sense? Good.

Set vs. Sit

The verb set requires an object, like let’s say, oh, a bag of cheese doodles. “Larry set the bag of cheese doodles on the table and his dog Norman took them.” On the other hand, sit doesn’t require a direct object, instead it’s something you do, like when you sit on a couch. Woot! Easy, man. You got this.

Lay vs. Lie

Lay requires an object. To lay is to set or place something in a resting position. Lie does not require an object. So, you lay a bag of cheese doodles on the counter, but you lie down on the couch. Get it? Good.

Note: Remember the Eric Clapton song “Lay Down Sally”? It should’ve been called “Lie Down Sally.” Also, the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s song “Lay Lady Lay” should actually be “Lie lady lie, lie across my big brass bed.” True story. It also gets confusing because lie can also mean a falsehood. It’s a mad world I tell ya.

Seen vs. Saw

This one seems to be common for some reason. Saw is the past tense of the verb see, and usually comes immediately after nouns and pronouns. Example: “Charlie saw a bag of cheese doodles.” On the other hand, the word seen can’t stand alone. It needs another verb like has or had to help it out, unlike saw. Check out this sentence: “Charlie has seen many cheese doodles, but none like the cheese doodles he saw today.” So to review, saw is usually used after nouns and pronouns, and seen is used with a buddy word like have, has, had, was, or were.

Whose vs. Who’s

This one is simple. Who’s is a contraction of who and is, as in “Who’s hungry for cheese doodles?” Whose is a possessive pronoun, and you use it when you’re asking or telling whom something belongs to. Example: “Whose cheese doodles are these?” So, who’s = who is and whose = Possessive of Who. Done dizzle.

Its vs. It’s

Again, simple. This one gets mixed-up because an apostrophe often indicates possession, but it’s is a contraction for it is. Its is a possessive pronoun and might be used like this: “The cheese doodle and its glorious golden hue were a sight to behold.” See? The cheese doodle possessed a golden hue, thus the use of the word its.

Lose vs. Loose

Another really simple one that there is no excuse for screwing up. You lose a bag of cheese doodles. Your cows get loose. Good Lord.

Good vs. Well

All you need to remember is that good modifies a person, place, or thing, and well modifies an action. If you’re having a good day, then your day is going well. Technically, “I’m good” or “You did good” is poor grammar. It should be “You did well.” I’ve actually heard grammar Nazis respond to that one with “How good are you?” Anyway, sorry everyone including me. I mess that one up all the time.

Using Apostrophes to Make Words Plural

I see this all the time as well. For some reason people seem to think that you should use an apostrophe to make a word plural. You do not. “My son Ethan won three trophy’s at the fair” is incorrect. Just add an S, man.

The Unnecessary “At”

Heard all over Southern Ohio and beyond: “Where you at?” You don’t need the “at” kids! Try “Where are you?” It will do just fine! Free your soul of the unnecessary at! You can do this!

Honestly, these mistakes probably bother me the most when I see educators do it. Come on, teachers. You’re better than that. Clean it up.

And hey, before you start correcting all the mistakes I’ve made in this blog please understand I know I’m far from perfect. I make plenty of mistakes too.

PS- Before you message me, I’m pretty sure I violated several uses of quotation marks during this blog. So sue me.

PPS- “So sue me” isn’t a complete sentence. I know this. I’m allowed to use something called Creative and Artistic License, man. Chill.


It’s “I couldn’t care less.” “I could care less” means you probably do actually care.

“Literally” means it actually happened. If you say, “I literally shit my pants” you shit your pants.

“Affect” is a verb. “Effect” is a noun.

“Irregardless” is not a word. 

Thank you and goodnight.


The worldwide interweb can take you to some weird places, amirite? Ever be searching for something and happen onto a site where you just can’t hit that back button quickly enough? Yeah, me too. Scary stuff man, believe me. I started researching something called The Dark Web one day awhile back because I was going to write about it, but what I found freaked me out so much I decided to back slowly away for a bit. Here’s a video if you want the basics. Chills, man. Anyhoo, I stumbled upon a site today that was describing how sometimes kids can come up with way better ideas than adults, specifically when naming stuff. Here are my Top 10 favorites, with the actual name followed by the made-up kid’s way better name.


What could possibly be better than a Rhino, you ask? Why, the Battle Unicorn of course. Yep. If unicorns went to battle, that’s who they’d send. 


Mosquito is a pretty cool name, no? Not nearly as cool as Vampire House Flies though.


This one is actually sort of poetic. One child called her dreams The Stories in My Eyes. Beautiful.


Oh this one is good. What better description of a buzzard than the Halloween Eagle? Cool.


From a completely different kid we get a new name for vultures – the Flamingo Witches. Hell yes they are.


Now we have a little guy who couldn’t remember what gloves were supposed to be called. What he came up with was Hand Socks because, well, they are.


I really like this one. One kid saw some wolves in a national park and promptly christened them Party Dogs. Love. It.


Not to get a little morbid, but kids can be pretty literal, ya know? Hence the new name for cemeteries – Die Yards.



Once again, this is a way cooler name than harmonica – the Cowboy Trumpet. Kids, man.

Cooking Pot

And our last entry once again makes perfect sense. Why confuse things by calling it a pot when it’s actually a Stove Bucket? Because that’s exactly what it is.

So I know you all have kids that have come up with new names for stuff, some maybe even better than these. Whaddaya got?


Everyone knows what a palindrome is, right? Words or sentences that read the same both forwards and backwards? Like Mom or Dad? Race car? Yeah, those. Anyway, I’ve always been fascinated by them, partly because they’re cool and partly because they’re almost always funny. Why? I have no idea. My brain is weird. Anyway, here are my 15 favorite palindromes along with my completely nonsensical comments on each. Enjoy. Or not. I don’t really give a damn. It’s not my fault my interests are vast and eclectic.

Step on no pets.

I simply cannot argue with that sentiment.

Eva, can I stab bats in a cave?

Legit question, amirite?

Dammit, I’m mad!

Huh. Even palindromes have foul mouths.

Sit on a potato pan, Otis.

And why would you ask Otis to . . . never mind. I don’t want to know.

A Santa lived as a devil at NASA.

That’s a terrifying proposition.

Madam In Eden, I’m Adam.

Biblical, man.

Was it a rat I saw?

Yep. That’s a rat alright.

Do geese see God?

I’m guessing no. Just a hunch.

A man, a plan, a canal. Panama.

This one actually makes the most sense.

Go hang a salami. I’m a lasagna hog.

Both sentences bring to mind great images, right?

Never odd or even.

Then what? Wait. Is zero neither odd nor even? I’m getting a headache.

Mr. Owl ate my metal worm.

Mr. Owl is destined for digestive problems.

Doc, note: I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.

Something about that last sentence that kills me. Love this one.

Tulsa night life: Filth, gin, a slut.

I’ve heard this is 100% accurate. Sorry, Tulsans.

A nut for a jar of tuna.

Sounds like an even trade.

Hey kids, since we’re educating you did you know a group called They Might Be Giants wrote a song about palindromes? Sure did. It contains palindromes! Here ’tis!

Regular readers of Shoe: Untied know well of my love of words. Hey, my acclaimed blog Word Up: Snorkel, Curds and Uranus was an international hit, man. Another popular offering was Cool Beans! Words and Phrases That Need To Make a Comeback. I also wrote a little piece about our old buddy Willy Shakespeare that seemed to strike a chord with folks across the globe.

Anyway, you get the picture.

My latest idea regarding words once again takes us back to days of yore, to a time when people wrote and spoke with much more class and dignity than we do today. By the way, their penmanship was also better. Check it:

Not even kidding.

But back to the words. I’ve chosen 14 of them to share with you, my loyal followers. Let us begin. By the way, feel free to use these words copiously but judiciously.


Somebody who gives opinions on something they know nothing about.

We all know an Ultracrepidarian, do we not? I know several, but I shall not name names. Yet.


To pretend to work while actually doing nothing.

See? That’s cool man. I shall henceforth stay in my office and fudgel tomorrow morning.


Gossiping idly about unimportant things.

Today twattling is known as “shooting the shit.” You’re welcome.


Lying awake and worrying about the day ahead.

We’ve all experienced uhtceare for sure. We just didn’t know what to call it.


Someone who stares at you while you eat, hoping you’ll share.

I’ll never forget the moment 3-minues ago when I first realized my best friend was a groke. Sorry Spark.


A shrewd, unprincipled politician.

You can bet I’ll use this one liberally in future blogs. Pun intended.


Having a hangover but without admitting to actually drinking.

Oh, I had an ex who fit this definition to a T.


Extreme difficulty in getting out of bed in the morning.

How many people do you know that suffer from the horrors of Dysania? Yep. That’s what I thought. Now you know what to call it.


Government by the least qualified or worst people.

[Insert your own Trump administration joke here]


People who are angry or unhappy with their government.

Lemme tell ya, kids, it’s hard not to be a grumbletonian when you live in a kakistocracy.


Someone who always shows up conveniently with no money.

Again, all these years and I’ve been calling these guys moochers. Lanspresados sounds so much cooler.


Having beautiful, well-shaped buttocks.

Well, well. We need this word in today’s world, amirite? On a related note, you could probably get away with calling a woman this without getting in trouble so there’s that.


The uncomfortable feeling of wearing new underwear.

I gotta be honest here. I’ve never felt uncomfortable earing new underwear. Thus, I’ve never experienced shivviness.


The irresistible urge to do something inadvisable.

Oh, have I felt cacoethes before. Many times. And to my chagrin, the urge has won. At least I know the name for it now.

So what do you think? Some of these words need to be brought back into modern lexicon, right? And it’s up to us, my friends, to make it happen. We got this. Let’s do it.

Here’s the latest from Anna, our guest contributor. Enjoy!

The other day I entered a small boutique in the cute little suburban city where we live. A nice young lady greeted me and offered her assistance:

Hello, how are you?” 

This was followed by:

Are you looking for something pacific?

Now listen, I had a mouth full of a post workout drink called The Dave (a story for another time). At any rate, mouth full, thanking the good Lord I had my back to her as I cleansed my sinuses with my post workout drink, I thought to myself, “No, I am not looking for something pacific.” I’m assuming she meant specific but irregardless (lol), I thanked her and went about my business.

But wait, I thought, what if she meant pacific and I am the ignorant one and I don’t know what that means! Now I am questioning everything my English teachers Susan Luke, Susan Iseman, and Wendy Royse ever learnt me.

Seriously though, I’m a little concerned about the emoji generation. We have gone past millennial and straight to THE EMOJI GEN!

So maybe this won’t be surprising to anybody but me, but the other day I was cuss-wordswatching a documentary on the Cuban Missile Crisis and they were playing actual recordings from meetings between President Kennedy and his top generals. At one point Kennedy walked out of the room and one of the generals, upset with Kennedy, made the following statement:

“They either do the son-of-a-bitch and do it right, and quit frigging around.”

Now, I figured “son-of-a-bitch” has been around awhile, but “frigging”? I’d have bet that was a relatively new one.

Well, being the curious world class blogger that I am, I put my crack staff here at Shoe: Untied on the case. Sure enough, within minutes our top intern Jiawei Gu came back with the answer. The word “frigging” has been used as an alternative for the word “f+*cking” since at least the early 1920’s.


Again – does this surprise anyone other than me? It’s hard for me to fathom people in 1929 saying, “What about this friggin’ stock market crash, huh? I had friggin’ sawdust for dinner last night.”

Learn something every day I guess?


Truer Words Were Never Spoken

Posted: December 11, 2016 in Words

The Truth.


The word “ok” as we know it today, as a synonym for “alright”, is only about 175 years old. It was originally written as a joke that went viral in 1839 by a Boston editorial writer satirizing people’s bad grammar and use of abbreviations, and was an abbreviation for “oll korrect”.



I’m dead serious here, and with my access to the minds of literally hundreds of impressionable children, I’m just the man to pull this off. You see, there are some words and phrases that need to, dare I say have to, come back. They’re just too cool to let slip away. I mentioned a few of these words in the legendary blog Word Up: Snorkel, Curds and Uranus a few months ago. Words such as shenanigans, which is used much too infrequently. Come on, say it. Shenanigans. You know it’s fun. So without further ado let’s list some words and phrases that need to make a comeback.

On with the shenanigans!

On a related note, withour further ado is an awesome thing to say. I’ve no clue what it means, but awesome nonethelessOn another related note, we use awesome way too much.

But on to the list . . .

  • Cool Beans – Cool beans, man! Something can be cool, but something that is really cool is cool beans. Love it, and I use it regularly in class. For those of you who hate the phrase “cool beans”, it’s too late. It’s already catching on in the hallowed halls of Paint Valley Elementary. And yes, I loved the 80’s.
  • Bogus – As in “not cool at all” or in other words the opposite of “cool beans”. “Hey Max, that shirt your wearing is bogus, dude. Clean up your act.”
  • Solid – Here’s another one I use regularly with the kids. “Hey Lane, do me a solid and run up to the cafeteria and grab me a grape-flavored water. Here’s a buck. You can add the quarter as payment for getting out of class for 5-minutes.” See what I did there? We exchanged solids.
  • Bitchin’ – Obviously not for use in the classroom, but still. I like it because it’s usage is the opposite of it’s intended meaning. For instance, it’s usually used negatively, as in, “Charlie’s bitchin’ about his job.” In this case, though, it’s a positive word. Picture a guy standing there looking at a friend’s newly restored ’64 Mustang. As he nods approvingly he says, “Bitchin‘.” Cool word. Case closed.
  • Jeepers – Great word, amirite? Jeepers! Sorta reminds you of a Leave it to Beaver episode. “Jeepers, Wally! You’re in for it now!” For you young folk out there, Leave it to Beaver was a TV show from back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and people used telephones that were connected to the wall with a wire. Oh, and kids went outside to play and stuff. Related: Jeepers Creepers. Also cool.
  • Rapscallion – From Merriam Webster: rascal, ne’er-do-well. “Get outta my yard, ya little rapscallion!” Sounds so much cooler than, say, punk. I also like scalawag and scamp.
  • Gnarly – I know, 80’s again. Gnarly can be used in both a positive and negative connotation though, as in “Ooh, look what the dog threw up. Gnarly.” Or, “Wow, gnarly shoes man. Love ’em.

I would also propose we bring back phrases like “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” which would give us all an excuse to use the word murgatroyd several times a day. By the way, this phrase was often used by a cat named Snagglepuss. Snagglepuss was a  . . . ah, just search it up on The Goggle.

I also would like to see words like swell and golly and gee whiz return but maybe I ask too much. Perhaps I long for a simpler time.

And hey, why we’re at it, here are some words and phrases I could do without:

  • Awesome –  As previously mentioned. I would like to amend this by saying that awesome is acceptable when pronounced A-soooooooooooooome! Just one man’s opinion.
  • Groovy – People use it still, usually just to sound hippie-ish. Right on man.
  • Whatever – Such a dismissive word, no? A friend of mine uses it sometimes, I’m sure just to annoy me.
  • Super – Yeah, not a fan. “Super shirt, Mr. Wilson!” or “I am super excited about this meeting.” And I really dislike Super Duper.

Now there are certain words that are rather timeless, like cool and dude. I actually heard a kid tell his dad that he was too old to use the word dude. Dude, I was using dude back in the 70’s, so that’s just bogus. And cool goes w-a-y back to the late 19th century when people were saying “cool as a cucumber” and “keep a cool head.” I looked that up. Don’t ever question my blogging integrity.

So there you have it, a few words regarding words. I have already begun my personal quest to inject some of these words and phrases straight back into the American lexicon.

Don’t count me out.

The following is an excerpt from a speech President Theodore Roosevelt gave in 1910. It’s one of my favorite quotes and can apply to coaches or any type of leader. True words were never spoken.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”― Theodore Roosevelt


The Dude abides. If you don’t know what that means don’t ever speak to me again.

I once had a high school student tell me I was too old to use the word “dude.” I then proceeded to tell her, in no uncertain terms, that I had been using the word “dude” since I was in junior high. I then told her to shut it.

I hope she reads this:

From Lexicon Valley – For some time now, we have known the basic outline of the story of “dude.” The word was first used in the late 1800s as a term of mockery for young men who were overly concerned with keeping up with the latest fashions. It later came to stand for clueless city folk (who go to dude ranches) before it morphed into our all-purpose laid-back label for a guy. What we didn’t know was why the word dude was chosen in the first place.

Now, we finally have the answer. Allan Metcalf (who wrote the book on “OK”) reports in The Chronicle of Higher Education that a massive, decade-long “dude” research project has finally yielded convincing results.

The project belongs to Barry Popik and Gerald Cohen, described by Metcalf as “Googlers before there was Google.” Along with the help of other colleagues, they have been combing through 19th century periodicals for years, slowly amassing the world’s biggest collection of dude citations. The latest issue of Cohen’s journal, Comments on Etymology, lays out, in 129 pages, the most solidly supported account yet of the early days of dude.

So where does dude come from? Evidence points to “doodle,” as in “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” He’s the fellow who, as the song has it, “stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni.” “Macaroni” became a term for a dandy in the 18th century after young British men returned from their adventures on the European continent sporting exaggerated high-fashion clothes and mannerisms (along with a taste for an exotic Italian dish called “macaroni”). The best a rough, uncultured colonist could do if he wanted to imitate them was stick a feather in his cap.

“For some reason,” Metcalf says, “early in 1883, this inspired someone to call foppish young men of New York City ‘doods,’ with the alternate spelling ‘dudes’ soon becoming the norm.” Some of the early mocking descriptions of these dudes seem awfully familiar today: “A weak mustache, a cigarette, a thirteen button vest/A curled rim hat — a minaret — two watch chains cross the breast.” Yep, sounds like a hipster. But that word has gotten so stale. We should all go back to “dood,” or maybe even “doodle.”

See? So there ya go. Sorry youngsters, but you didn’t invent everything.

Wait. What?




Is anyone else like me and have a pet peeve about folks who use words incorrectly? Hey, I’m not images1ZMTINZVperfect but there are certain misuses of the English language that drive me cray-cray. Some are used over and over and over, and I figure it’s time for someone to take a stand. And I, dear reader, am that someone. Here are my Top 10 Mispronounced Words for your perusal:

  • Axe – This is used in lieu of the word “ask” and I hate it. As in, “Let me axe you a question.” No kids, it is “ASK,” not “AXE.” Get it right, damn it.
  • Thinx – Young girls seem to think that saying “thanks” should be pronounced as “thinx” or “theeenx“. Annoying.
  • Ki-un – Youngsters seem to think that pronouncing the letter “T” is a sin these days. So, instead of “kitten” they’ll say “ki-un.” Or instead of “Quinten” they’ll say “Qui-un.” Or they’ll put on their “mi-uns” if it’s cold. Drives me loony.
  • Nucular – I’ve heard this mispronounced by almost everyone, including TV commentators, college professors and former president George W. Bush. It’s not “nucUlar,” it’s “nucLEar.”
  • Athalete – Hey, ESPN talking heads, they’re “athletes“, not “athAletes.” Get it together, morons.
  • Libary – Uh, no. There’s  another “r” in there, folks. Let’s say it together . . . “LIBRARY.”
  • Chimley – This is a surprisingly common one, and I have no idea where the “L” comes from. We all know it’s “chimney,” right? Right?
  • Expresso – I don’t drink it, but I do know it’s not “expresso.” It’s “espresso.” Sweet Mother.
  • Irregardless –  I hear people all the time saying, “Irregardless, blah-blah-blah . . .” Nope, it’s “regardless.” Geez.
  • Nother – I don’t know if this is a Midwestern thing or not but I hear it all the time, as in, “Well, that’s a whole nother story.” Well, newsflash: “Nother” is not a word. The correct thing to say would be “Well, that’s another story.

Another peeve of mine is when people repeat something someone said and follow it with “quote, unquote.” The correct way thing to do is to say “quote” followed by the phrase, and then say “endquote.” And for the love of God, don’t do the little finger waggles when you say the word “quote.” You look like an idiot.

Oh, and please know the correct usage of “set” and “sit.” You “set” a glass on the table but you “sit” down. “Set” requires and object. “Sit” is something you do.

And how about when people say, “I could care less”? It’s supposed to be “I couldn’t care less.” Or “on accident” instead of “by accident“? Sigh.

I’ve mentioned this one before, but it also annoys me when people say “moving forward.” This is a completely useless thing to say because we’re always moving forward, all the time. You can remove it from any statement and you won’t alter the meaning of what you said one bit. For example, if you say, “I plan to use better grammar moving forward” you could simply say “I plan to use better grammar” and mean essentially the exact same thing.

I could go on but I seriously need a nap.

As I write this it occurs to me that the whole texting thing may contribute to poor grammar and improper use of words. I mean, kids use words like “prolly” and “cul8r” all the time. In case you don’t know, those words mean “probably” and “see you later.”

Anyway, like I said up top I make my share of mistakes as well so don’t think I’m sitting here on my grammar high-horse. On a related note, Grammar High-Horse would be a fabulous rock band name. Bottom line, I feel better having spoken out about this national epidemic.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Note: Today’s grammar lesson has been brought to you by a man who uses “amirite” and “anywho” on a regular basis, so take it for what it’s worth.

Well, if that title didn’t grab your attention and stimulate your curiosity nothing will. Trust me when I say I thought long and hard about which heading to use. Hopefully, by the end of this blog it’ll make sense, but I promise nothing.

As someone who writes for the simple pleasure of doing so, I sometimes go to the old thesaurus in order to mix things up a little. You know, to keep the old blog fresh rather than stale. Nobody likes a stale blog, do they? Anyway, you may have noticed that I like certain words more than others. An example of one of these is “whatnot.” I love the word “whatnot,” and I’ve no idea why. It just sounds cool and sort of rolls off the tongue, ya know? Go ahead, say it aloud, I’ll wait right here.


Anyway, I was thinking about words the other day and why some are cooler than others to me. There’s really no rhyme or reason for my preferences, but I nevertheless have them. That said, what you are about to read is a list of my favorite, and some of my least favorite, words. Stay with me people, with a little luck this might just be interesting. Or maybe not. Don’t get all worked up and whatnot.

Let’s start with my least favorite words. I gotta be careful here, because there are certain words I don’t like simply because of their meaning. You know, like “Bieber”, or “Limbaugh” or “Oprah.” So those don’t count.

But let us proceed.

First, the words that I try not to say out loud:


I know, it makes zero sense, but I hate that word. Tuna. And I like to eat tuna, just hate the word. It offends me on some level. At a restaurant I’ll just point to the word on the menu and grunt.


Just so many bad connotations here. Nothing pretty about grunting, is there? Yeesh. In addition, I can’t watch women’s tennis because of the grunting.


This sounds like a little kid trying to say, “Pet a doggie” and I don’t like that. And take it easy, I love kids. That word just blows.


Just a horrific mix of letters. It means “harsh discordance of sound” which seems about right.


If someone tells me they have to go poop I want to punch them right in the back of the face. And being 7-years old is no excuse. Close second: poopy. On a related note, I hate myself right now.


This would actually be a cool word if it wasn’t usually spoken with such smugness by the speaker, as in, “Dave, it would behoove you to leave the bar before you are thrown out.” You know, that sort of thing.


Didn’t Little Miss Muffet eat curds? And whey? What the hell is a curd? Some variation of turd? Either way, not appetizing nor appealing.


I merely add this because I saw the owner of Chipotle on one of those cooking shows and he was a sanctimonious, egotistical blowhard. Plus, why isn’t it Chipotle’s rather than Chipotle? Pretentious bastards.


Eew. The many connotations here are so nasty that even I can’t go there.


I actually like the first part. “Oint” is sort of cool, reminds me of “oink”, which is a stellar word, but then they added that “ment” at the end and sort of legitimized it, thus ruining the word. I can’t believe I just wrote that.

Note: Did I just write that “oink” was a stellar word? Have mercy.


Again, no variation of this word is good, be it something that is oozing out of your body, a gun going off, or being let go from the military and whatnot. Did I mention I love the word “whatnot”?

OK, thank God we got through that unpleasantness. If you’re still with me I applaud your tenacity. Let’s move on to something a little more cheerful. Without further ado (ado, another fine word), here are my favorite words:


Come on, everybody loves this word because it’s always good for a laugh, as in, “Can I see Uranus from here?” or “Let’s see if we can see Uranus.” Just straight-fire comedy gold, every single time.

Note: I’m immature. Deal with it.


Just a funny word, but I can never sneak it in a blog like I can sneak in Uranus. Hey-O! Wasirite or Wasirite?


Maybe the greatest word ever. Just rolls off the tongue like a boss. Say it, and be sure and draw out the beginning, as in S-h-h-h-henanigans. The nani in the middle just does it for me.


Just a beautiful word, no? H-u-s-h-h-h-h. I love the word hush.


Beginning right now, let us all commit to using thusly as much as possible. It’s just a gorgeous word. Having said that, I can think of absolutely no way to use it in a sentence. Except . . . thusly, I am an idiot.


This is a sad but magnificent word. From this point onward I shall never be depressed, blue, or dejected, but crestfallen. It somehow seems better to be crestfallen than any of those other, less majestic words.


Again, one of those words that just feels good to say out loud. After I make a zillion bucks from this blog and buy a yacht I’ll name it The Serendipity.


See thusly. We all need to make a solemn commitment to use woebegone more.


Now, splatter usually brings to mind some unpleasantness, but that’s only because of CSI, Criminal Minds or your Uncle Herschel and his poor bathroom habits. For me, however, it just sounds fantastic rolling off the tongue. SPLAT, but with a little “ter” on the end to finish with a flourish. I swear I’m stone cold sober right now.


Now there’s a beautiful word we can slip in at any time, just like Uranus. Bam! Never gets old.

I also like melancholy, nodule, succulent, scintilla, blooper, bugaboo, and riboflavin. I now, random. But you can’t argue with any of those, right? Awesome words, every one.

So there you have it. My words blog. Bet you never saw that one coming, did you? Neither did I. No idea from whence it came. Whence! Now there’s a fantastic word . . .

angryI know, I know, I’ve written about some of this before and in fact I’m going to repeat myself a couple times. Still, it all begs for an update. Why? Because people continue to overuse and/or misuse dumb cliches.

Without further ado, here’s a list of things people say that drive me loco:

“Baby Daddy”

Baby Daddy. Doesn’t that sort of insinuate that the man who got you pregnant is something other than, you know, a father? I’m pretty sure my dad was never referred to as my mom’s “baby daddy.” Good grief.

“Baby Bump”

Listen up. A bump is something you hit on the road, not a woman’s belly when she’s expecting. Stop it.

“It is what it is”

Yes it is, because it’s the only thing it can be. It can’t be what it isn’t, folks. You basically just said it is = it is. I can tell you what it really is, and that is stupid.

“Moving forward”

Over the past couple years this inane phrase has reared its ugly head. To wit:

“I have high hopes for my team moving forward.”

“Moving forward, we want to improve our test scores.”

“Moving forward, I’d like to see more intelligent conversations regarding the philosophies of Kant and Nietzsche.”

You know, stuff like that.

But I don’t really get it. Aren’t we all moving forward all the time? We can’t move backwards, though God knows there’ve been times I would have liked to. It seems to me that, in most cases, you could simply leave that phrase out. It’s not needed because it’s nearly always implied.

Those three examples I used up there? Let’s say them without the “moving forward” nonsense:

“I have high hopes for my team moving forward.”

Moving forward, we want to improve our test scores.”

Moving forward I’d like to see more intelligent conversations regarding the philosophies of Kant and Nietzsche.”

See? All three statements totally work without the dumb words “moving forward” inserted. In fact they’re better, more streamlined and economical. Amazing really. You’re welcome.

“Keepin’ it real”

And by keeping it real they mean just letting whatever pops into their head come flying straight out of their mouth, right? Why is keeping it real some sort of badge of honor? Isn’t it easier to “keep it real” than otherwise? Isn’t it more honorable to hold your tongue and not always say what you’re thinking? I mean, I guess I should just go around letting whatever I’m thinking just come flying out of my mouth:

“Hey, that’s one butt-ugly wife you have there, Mr. Schmertzel.”

Or . . .

“Hey boss, your daughter looks like a cross between Yoda and E.T. Hey-O!” 

Nah. Shut your piehole, dumbass.

“I know, right?”

Boy it’s cold out today.”

I know, right?

Good God. I’ve no idea where it started, but “I know, right?” took over a few years ago and won’t go away. Sheesh.

“Giving 110%”

No you didn’t. I hate this phrase, and not just because it’s mathematically impossible. And why is it always 110%? Why stop there? Why not 120%? 200%? 587%? Anyway, my point has always been you can’t give 110%. If you don’t believe me, try withdrawing 110% from your savings account or eating 110% of a pie. You can’t do it, damn it. Hell, I’d venture to say you can’t even give 100%. It would more than likely kill you, right? I’d say the most ball-busting, hard working, crazy-ass athlete out there is giving around 85%. Hey, you gotta rest sometime.

By the way, Larry Bird? 97%.

“Everything happens for a reason”

Really? Does everything happen for a reason or just certain things? I only hear people say this after some serious event has taken place. For instance, this morning I stubbed my toe getting out of the shower. Did that happen for a reason? If so, what was the reason? Because I really want to know. The other day I dropped my cell phone in the urinal at Rooster’s. Reason being . . . what? I’m waiting, because you DID say everything after all. Hey, I’m as spiritual as the next guy but I’m thinking most things just happen randomly for no reason at all and people say otherwise in order to help them deal with life. If we believe things happen for a reason, that everything is going according to some MASTER PLAN, then it’s out of our control and there’s no reason to worry about it and everything is going to be okie-dokie.

Sorry for being a buzzkill, kids. Don’t hate me for it.

“I could care less”

Listen carefully here. If you COULD care less it means you care, at the very least, a little. If you truly don’t care in the least you’re supposed to say I COULDN’T care less.” That is all.

“It’s going to come down to who wants it more”

No, actually it’s going to come down to who scores the most points. Sometimes the team who wants it more actually loses. Sorry. By the way, World War II? We wanted it more.


Say hello to the most misused word in the English language. Read, print off and carry the following with you all times:

Literally / Lit·er·al·ly: In a literal manner or sense; exactly.

So, children, when you say you were “literally scared to death” you’re saying you were actually, you know, dead. And if so you wouldn’t be able to utter the incorrect grammar you just uttered. Jeebus.

“Don’t take this the wrong way”, “With all due respect” or “No offense”

This is said just before you’re about to insult the living hell out of somebody. True story: I was once at a gas station in town and a guy was getting gas on the other side of the pump. He took a look at me, did a double-take, and delivered this memorable quote:

Hey, you look like that guy who coaches basketball out at Paint Valley. No offense.”

Wait. What? No offense? NO OFFENSE? Why would I be offended for looking like that guy who coaches basketball at Paint Valley? Then again, maybe I don’t want to know.

“From the get-go”

I’ve witnessed a lot of beginnings in my time, and I’ve also seen a couple of things start. Hell, I’ve even been present at the onset of a couple things. But I can guarantee you I haven’t ever been around at the “get-go” of anything. You know why? Because “get-go” doesn’t mean a damn thing.

“Between a rock and a hard place”

I know what this means, but here’s my problem with it – what exactly is a hard place?


I blame the 80’s Valley Girls for this one. Such a dismissive term. Whatever.

“At the end of the day”

Worn out, man, and way overused. Suggestion – let’s replace this dumb cliche with “ultimately.” Trust me, you’ll sound much smarter.

“Just sayin'”

Thank you for clarifying that the thing you just said is a thing you are saying.


“You Only Live Once” is usually an excuse for doing something selfish, irresponsible, or dumb. Don’t punish your friends with this stupid abbreviation on top of it. Oh, and remember: YODO, too.

Oh, there’s one more thing that drives me crazy. It’s the habit a lot of people have required that leads to them ending every freaking sentence with an upward inflection. I call this “rising intonation” and every line they utter sounds like a question. You know what I mean? Maybe I should let Stewie Griffin explain:

Well said, Stew. Well said indeed.

So that’s about it. Thus concludes my latest contribution to society. Remember, I’m here for ya, kids.

Nobody can write a title like me, amirite? Just rolls off the tongue. Anyway, I’m here to educate you, people, so listen up. What you are about to read are names for things you’re familiar with but didn’t know had names. Make sense? No?

Just read on, and please pay attention. Note taking is encouraged.


Hmmm, Box Tent. Some sort of shelter a Boy Scout has to learn to put up when camping? Negatory. The plastic, tiny table-like item found in pizza boxes is called a box tent and was patented in 1983. Most people in the pizza game now call it a pizza saver. We’re off to a rousing start, huh? Hold on kids!



What’s an aglet? Maybe a small Ag? Naw, an aglet is that small metal or plastic tube fixed tightly around the end of your shoelace. Go ahead, you can look. I know you want to.



Paresthesia sounds like some sort of a disease, amirite? Nope, it’s that tingling sensation when your foot falls asleep. Just think, the next time your foot falls asleep you can say, “Damn it! Paresthesia has set in! I need to walk it off!” Do it to impress your friends!



You know that string of typographical symbols comic strips use to indicate profanity (“$%@!”)? It’s called a grawlix. Crazy, huh? If you don’t like it you can go &*%$ yourself.



Caruncula sounds like some sort of poisonous desert creature, maybe a cousin to the tarantula. Or perhaps a nice vacation destination. Nope, in fact we all have a couple carunculas. That small, triangular pink bump on the inside corner of each eye is called the caruncula. It contains sweat and oil glands that produce rheum, also known as “that gook in your eyes when you wake up in the morning.”


Nope, it’s not a dance although it should be. A rhumba is what we call a group of rattlesnakes. And I have to say it – “LET’S GET READY TO RHUMBA!”



I may pull a dringle tomorrow because, hey, I’m retired. Why, you ask? Because to waste time by being lazy is to dringle. “Whatcha doin’ Shoe?” “Ah, I’ve just been dringling all day. Thanks for asking.” On a related note, if you think I’m not going to use the word “dringle” from now on you’re out of your gourd.



Try as I might I could think of nothing funny to say about the word agraffe. I tried to work giraffe in there, but it just wasn’t working for me. Anywho, a agraffe is the little wire cage that keeps the cork in a bottle of champagne. That is all.


A single slice of bacon is called a rasher. This fact is totally irrelevant because nobody in the history of the world has ever eaten a single slice of bacon.



Open your hand palm down and look at it. See that web between your thumb and forefinger? It’s called the purlicue. W-h-a-a-a-a-t? Hey, I wouldn’t lie to you.


So there ya go. Hey, Shoe: Untied is nothing if not educational. I’m here for y’all. Remember, knowledge is power.



Yes, I just used the word “rad” in the title. I have no idea why. Anyway, I also have no idea why I was boning up on Shakespeare today but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t. During my reading I was reminded of how awesome The Bard of Avon actually was. For instance, if he couldn’t think of a word for something he basically just made one up. True story. Although he invented a boatload of words I’ll just give you the 10 I think are the most interesting.

On a related note, you have to admit that Shoe: Untied is an eclectic website if there ever was one. One day you you might read about the Pigbutt Worm, the next Shakespeare. Cool, right? Maybe? Never mind.

Let us commence with Shakespeare’s made-up words that actually became a part of the English lexicon . . .

ARCH-VILLAIN: Honestly, I always figured arch-villain was made up by those guys who wrote Superman comic books. Never dreamed it was Shakespeare. Dude was forward-thinking like you read about.

BEDAZZLED: No kids, this word wasn’t invented when people started putting rhinestones and whatnot on their jeans or cell phones. The Bard was bedazzling folks back in 1587.

BELONGINGS: Huh? Belongings? What the hell did people call their belongings before Billy ‘Speare came along? Their stuff? Their gear? The mind reels.

COLD-BLOODED: Dang, I would have sworn this was a modern day word. Once again, Shakespeare was on point and ahead of the curve. And also sort of morbid.

ASSASSINATION: I guess people just said “killed” or maybe “murdered” before Shakespeare came up with this awesome, fun-to-say word?* I have no idea.

*Seriously, say “assassination” fast 3-times. Fun.

EYEBALL: Are you serious? EYEBALL? Makes sense when you think about it though. I mean, we had the words “eye” and “ball” so William just put them together. Eyeball. Pure genius.

HOT-BLOODED: Just think, Foreigner would have never had that hit song without William Shakespeare. “Hot-blooded, check it and see, gotta fever of a 103 . . .”

NEW-FANGLED: Oddly, this word that means something new sounds old-fashioned even today, amirite?

SCUFFLE: “Scuffle” is just a stellar word for fighting, isn’t it? It feels like nobody could really get hurt in a scuffle. And once more it just has the feel of a modern word. On a related note I prefer “kerfuffle” but that’s just me.

SWAGGER: Are you serious right now Shakespeare? What the hell? Little did William know he created a word that sports teams would use to describe themselves over 400-years later.

So there ya go. Are you as fascinated by this or is it just me? I mean, I can’t imagine George Washington or Abe Lincoln using the words “swagger” or “arch-villain” and they both lived much later than William Shakespeare. Old Billy was ahead of his time fo’ sho’.

Have a great weekend.




Oh boy.

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Managing Editor Chris Cooper, what part of the “editor” do you not understand?


I just looked at my reflection in the mirror. It blinked.

Bonus pic:


I feel ya, bro.

You know how certain phrases sort of catch on and pretty soon everyone is saying them? I’ve already written of my disdain for the phrase “it is what it is” because what else would it be? Something it isn’t?

And how many of you have heard this one?

Boy it’s cold out today.”

I know, right?

Yeah, me too.

I’ve no idea where it started, but “I know, right?” took over a few years ago and won’t go away. Well, over the past couple years another one of these inane phrases has reared its ugly head, and that phrase is “moving forward.”

Good Lord. So annoying. To wit:

“I have high hopes for my team moving forward.”

“Moving forward, we want to improve our test scores.”

“Moving forward, I’d like to see more intelligent conversations regarding the philosophies of Kant and Nietzsche.”

You know, stuff like that.

But I don’t really get it. Aren’t we all moving forward all the time? We can’t move backwards, though God knows there’ve been times I would have liked to. It seems to me that, in most cases, you could simply leave that phrase out. It’s not needed because it’s nearly always implied.

Those three examples I used up there? Let’s say them without the “moving forward” nonsense:

“I have high hopes for my team moving forward.”

Moving forward, we want to improve our test scores.”

Moving forward I’d like to see more intelligent conversations regarding the philosophies of Kant and Nietzsche.”

See? All three statements totally work without the dumb words “moving forward” inserted. In fact they’re better, more streamlined and economical.

Amazing really.

And so concludes my latest contribution to the improvement of society.

You’re welcome.

I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I though it was the window until I heard it come from the mirror again.

Bonus pic: