This essay on religion, science, gender and the Earth is one of the most difficult things I’ve written. Part One ~ Part Two The composition process felt like torture. I fully expected it would require serious revision, but it was accepted and published as-is in the collection Finding the Masculine in Goddess’ Spiral: Men in Ritual, Community, and […]

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It’s been a while, but I’m still aiming to catalog all the two-letter words in the English language. That brings us to am, which is a simple and common word. I’m sure you can use it in a sentence. But can you define it? According to the Wiktionary, it’s the “first-person singular simple present indicative […]

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Aj is not a word, so we come to al, an Indian mulberry. Wait, that sounds awfully familiar. Aha, that’s because I wrote about the variant spelling aal already. It’s an evergreen shrub, Morinda tinctoria, commonly known as the Indian mulberry. The root bark of the young plant is used to make red, brown or […]

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Some two-letter words are ordinary and banal, while others are obscure but ultimately aggravating, and finally there are those that are both obscure and gratifying. In this last category we find ai, a variety of three-toed sloth native to South America. When it comes to three-toed sloths there are only four kinds. You’ve got your […]

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Ah, yes, so now we come to one of my favorite words: ah. I like this word because it’s so dramatic yet also so subtle and ambiguous. It can mean almost anything — or almost nothing — depending on how it’s inflected. “Ah, this bath feels great.” “Ah, say what now?” “Ah, what a beautiful […]

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I took Persephone to the doctor yesterday for her three-year checkup. I was going to ask the doctor about getting a lead test, even though it was my understanding that standard protocol doesn’t call for it. A brief recapitulation of her numbers might be in order. These are all expressed in µg/dL (micrograms per deciliter […]

Read More → No Number

There is no af, so the next word I will consider is ag, which is short for agriculture. Like ab, it would seem to be most natural as an adjective. “I’m auditing a couple of ag classes down at the community college.” But it’s also, apparently, an expression of annoyance that comes to us from […]

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And so now we come to ae, the most controversial word we’ve yet seen. Or so it seems to me. The controversy springs from a fundamental linguistic question: Is Scots a dialect or a language? If a dialect, than sure fine, ae is a word in the English language. It means simply “one,” and is […]

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After aa and ab one might expect ac to be next, but alas ac is not a word. Oddly enough, there are no two-letter words in the English language containing the letter c. Every other letter is represented — except v. Thus the next word to consider is ad, a banal word if ever there […]

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I believe the word ab is a fairly recent addition to the mainstream lexicon. I guess it stems from our fetishization of the muscular midriff. It’s most often seen in plural form, as in “six-pack abs.” (That’s surely an ironic phrase since drinking six-packs would seem to be at odds with getting a six pack.) […]

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Consider the word aa. It is surely worthy of consideration, as it is one of the first words in most dictionaries — the very first possible word of two letters, in fact. There are only 101 two-letter words in the English language, according to the authoritative source. That’s a small enough number that any person […]

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This might be a good year to reflect on the virtues of the number eleven. It is surely one of the coolest numbers. Sandwiched between the completeness of ten and the abundance of twelve, the number eleven just kind of hangs out there and plays it casual. It’s an odd number, of course, but it’s […]

Read More → In Praise of Eleven