Lay versus Lie Gives Woman Freakin’ Heart Attack


Chickens lay eggs, people lie down. But then what about “Now I lay me down to sleep…?” Never mind,  read this: “Every afternoon we lay down and rest for an hour,” laying is okay here because it’s in the past. But are we chickens now? Stop thinking. Here’s more: the past participle of the verb [...]

The Four-Letter Word Girls Need to Stop Using


  Why is it okay to call a 16-year-old a word you wouldn’t dream of using on a six-year-old? Really–why? Think about it. What changes between the ages of six and 16? At six my daughter likes wearing makeup and tight clothes; she plays dress-up. She talks with boys and plays with them. The other [...]

Lost in Translation


I’m a military brat. We bounced around various locales in California, Colorado, New Mexico, Chicago (it is too a state), and also spent a year in Frankfurt, Germany. As such, I was exposed to various regional dialects. I was always enthralled with how words and language changed depending on where we were. Somehow, I didn’t [...]

The, Like, Ebb and Flow of Language

girls talking

So, like, I am totally into how, like, language develops, you know? And sweeeeet, I find this out, and it is so cooooool. It’s, like the craziest shit I’ve read, EVA. And I know you’ll be all like, yeah, so, whatevaaa. But, girlfriend, I’m telling you, this shit is whack! So I was reading through [...]

Baby Einstein for Longshoremen

Una drawing

This childhood drawing of mine hangs above my son’s changing table: I’ll give you a second to click and enlarge it, so you can see the word emerging from the big floating head’s mouth. You’re not seeing things. It says, simply, “FUCK.” I was four years old.

My Husband Does Not Speak Spanish

Spanish and English

I am Latina, my husband is not. I speak Spanish, my husband does not. I have a vagina, my husband…wait, that is totally off topic. Here’s the deal, my husband and I communicate in English (and non-verbally, but again that is irrelevant). I happen to speak Spanish and have a large extended family that speaks [...]

Exploding brains

If there’s anything more potentially tiresome than a parent-blogger whining about their fussy children, it’s one who gets all geeked about their perfectly normal developmental trajectory.  That’s why I’m writing this with more than a little trepidation: not because I’m not excited about the subject matter–I am–but because I can’t imagine being interested in anyone [...]