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Sep 3, 2012
This week's theme
Whose what?

This week's words
crow's feet
god's penny
fool's paradise
winner's circle
writer's block

Words, language & more
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Someone sent me this image recently:


So many people to hate, so little time.

If there's an apostrophe hell this has to be it. If you see that fellow with his banner, ask him, "Why do you ♥ the apostrophe so much? Repent and believe in grammar."

But don't let that banner push you away from apostrophes either. There are places where an apostrophe has its place. Each of this week's terms answers the question: Whose what? And each of them takes an apostrophe. Go ahead, add one to each term every time you write it -- you can do so religiously, without thinking, with eyes firmly closed, blindly.

Finally, rest assured there's no hell, grammar or otherwise. You don't need to pay for the overuse of apostrophes in another life. Overall, the universe's apostrophe store stays in balance. It seems our linguistic world was intelligently designed -- for every gratuitous apostrophe there's an instance where it's omitted.

My thank's to the reader who sent me that mans photo.

crow's feet

PRONUNCIATION:
(KROHZ feet)

MEANING:
noun: Wrinkles in the skin around the outer corners of the eyes.

ETYMOLOGY:
From their supposed resemblance to a crow's feet. Earliest documented use: around 1374. Another term coined after a bird's feet: pedigree.

USAGE:
"He stares at himself in the mirror, the curls now grey, the crow's feet deepening like grooves worked into wood."
C.B. Forrest; The Devil's Dust; Dundurn; 2012.

See more usage examples of crow's feet in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Ah, good taste, what a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness. -Pablo Picasso, painter and sculptor (1881-1973)

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