Happy Holidays from me

By Joe Diorio

Holiday cards are a “to do” on many people’s 2022 year-end list. So, it’s time for an old favorite: the guide to properly pluralizing one’s last name.

It’s way easier than it seems. Just add an “s.” That’s it. No apostrophe, no special symbols. Just add an “s.”

As simple as it seems, my delivery of cards this time of year indicates otherwise. Remember, writing “Happy holidays. We love the Diorio’s” makes one ask, “Love the Diorio’s … what?” since the apostrophe and the letter “s” indicate possession of something. But rather than getting myself tied up in knots explaining things, here is the popular guide to pluralizing your name.

It’s Season in Southwest Florida

One Southwest Florida term that is lodged in my brain comes from a headline in the November 7 edition of the News-Press that read, “What will season bring in Southwest Florida this year?” The word “season” is a noun, and the headline reads as though the word needs a modifier, like tourist season, winter season, etc. I asked the reporter who wrote the story about the term. She explained it is a local idiom generally referring to fall and winter when tourists and “snowbirds,” or people who own a home up north, return to Southwest Florida to escape the winter cold.

The use of “season” as a shortened, aw-you-know-what-I-mean version of “tourist season” is a form of truncation. For example, the word “microphone” is shortened to “mic.” Fans of the National Football League’s Cincinnati Bengals truncate the word “they,” saying “dey,” as in “Who dey think is going to beat the Bengals?” Cincinnati broadcast sports reporter Sara Elyse truncates it even further. When the Bengals played the Titans on November 27 she Tweeted, “It’s a great DEY for the Bengals to beat the Titans.” All this shows that language is influenced largely by where you are standing at the time.

New words for Scrabble

Good news Scrabble fans. There are now 500 new words available for use with the popular board game. Among the new words (many of which we have used for some time) are “guac” (short for guacamole), “zedonk” (a hybrid between a zebra and a donkey), and “Jedi” (and we can’t be friends if I have to define this one).

One of the new words available for Scrabble is “gaslighting,” which Merriam-Webster also dubbed the 2022 word of the year. Gaslighting is defined as mind manipulating, grossly misleading, or downright deceitful. It’s worth 17 points in Scrabble, but I personally find it sad that, for two years in a row, words with potentially negative connotations have become the word of the year; the 2021 word of the year was “vax,” as in vaccination. 

When in doubt (read my book)

“Is it re-open or reopen?” someone asked via Twitter recently. For me, this is an easy one. It’s reopen, so says Merriam-Webster and Oxford. Like I say in my book, I don’t automatically know this stuff. I just look it up.

One thought on “Happy Holidays from me

  1. Hi Joe,
    Always makes me smile when I see an email from you pop up. That said, I now receive the message below twice, usually several hours apart. Could you check your distribution list, please, and remove one of my entries?
    Hope you all will have a wonderful season – Christmas not tourist 😊


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