English is Strange


English is strange. Communicating through letters on a screen is strange too. Eventually, if my words are lucky, they will make it to the printed page, where readers can be alone with them.

Reading other people’s words on this screen leads me to the bottom of the virtual page, where little white boxes tempt me to tell other writers what I think of their words. Today’s assignment was to give into temptation four times.

leave a thoughtful comment

This assignment took much longer than I expected.

I fell in love with a phrase:

the lexically luxuriant luminary – sesquiotica

In the end, I remembered that just because a comment is long and well-written doesn’t mean it was well-considered. My last comment was probably the most thoughtful, and it was only three sentences long. The original post reminded me of the members of my family who still struggle to conjugate sentences in English, though it was beautifully written.

My Dutch grandmother reads faster than I do and recreationally more often, but is reluctant to write a letter in English. Yet, she has uttered some of the wisest most beautiful strings of English words I have ever heard – all in an accent.

Past versions of English are strange, but I want them to be fun. That is why I write about making up your own Victorian colloquialisms. There’s playfulness in the art of writing Victorian dialogue in the twenty-first century. That’s why I am writing the dictionary. The more we understand the words, the stranger they become.

Support the project through my GoFundMe page, or visit my shop.


Hard Copies

writerMy original idea with the Dictionary of Victorian Insults & Niceties was to create an eBook that I would basically give away for free. It has since come to my attention that many people would prefer to pay for a hard copy. The fundraising process has been slow, and it has occurred to me that, if I offer what people are asking for, I might be able to raise more money and increase the distribution of the eBook.

For health reasons, I am terrified of entering into a crowdfunding nightmare that involves shipping out piles of books to my donors.


Support the project through my GoFundMe page, or visit my shop.