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Etymology of Pessimism

We get lots of calls and emails that take a pessimistic look at the way language changes– which reminded us that the word pessimism itself, just 100 or so years ago, was derided by the curmudgeons of old. People thought the word pessimism was...

The Whole Kit and Caboodle

Nothing brightens up an email like an emoticon. But is it appropriate to include a smiley face in an email to your boss? Also, what do time management experts mean when they say you should start each day by “eating the frog”? Plus, the...

Half Full of What?

If you see the trash can as half full, does that make you an optimist or a pessimist? Since it’s half full of garbage, as opposed to daisies or puppies, it’s questionable. On the other hand, in the tweeted words of Jill Morris:...

Hanging Crepe

Someone who paints a negative or pessimistic picture is said to be hanging crepe. Martha has the origin. This is part of a complete episode.

smoke (someone) up

smoke (someone) up v. phr. to share marijuana as a friendly gesture; to enable someone to get high. Editorial Note: Constructed similarly as to chat (someone) up ‘to flirt (with someone); to make a romantic or sexual play (for someone),’ though the...