Tag Archives: words

Three little words

A new trend has just popped up on Twitter and it’s popping so fast I’m having trouble tracing its path. I believe it originated with Maria Shriver. At first I thought it was corny but, once I dug down, I struck treasure.

Tweeters all over are each sharing three words by which they live. It’s called “threewordstoliveby” and is intended to get people thinking about how they would capture their personal philosophies in just three words.

I took a scroll through about a hundred of them and tried to decide what mine would be.

To be sure, there were plenty of clichés: Live, laugh, love. Eat, pray love. Family, friends, faith. Those are nice, but they’ve been done. After all, the point is for them to be uniquely individual.

Some were raunchy. Some were extremely raunchy. Some were hedonistic: Scotch rocks now.  Bacon or die. Some were narcissistic.

Some folks couldn’t do it in three words: Lock the back door. Be concise.

First I thought mine would be Laugh yourself silly. Not very original, but it suits me.

Unable to come up with a meaningful and unique string, I found several that I wish I had:

  1. Peace, love, panic
  2. Failure isn’t permanent
  3. I ignore ignorance
  4. Know your role
  5. Think then talk
  6. Duck fat hashbrowns

Yes, the triquetrous credos are supposed to reflect our individuality. If that’s the case, I just found myself half a dozen new Doppelgängers.

By what three words do you live?


Filed under All Things Wordish, Technology and Social Media

Double trouble

Exactly when, or how, did Doppelgänger spring into popular consciousness?

For a word that originated as early as the 17th century, hovering below the radar for hundreds of years, it seems to have crashed back in to popular language quite suddenly.

When I first noticed people on Facebook putting up pictures of their celebrity doubles a year or so ago, I should have picked up on the Doppelgänger phenomenon, but didn’t. I sat that one out anyway, not because I was unfamiliar with the Doppelgänger (which I was), but because I don’t think I have a celebrity double necessarily. I’ve been told I look like Mary Crosby (She shot J.R.), Marsha Mason, Helen Hunt, Laura Linney and Stockard Channing, none of whom look at all like each other.

Since the time Celebrity Doppelgänger Week was last celebrated on Facebook, I’ve been hearing this quirky word all over the place. It was kind of like kerfuffle, which seemed to lie low for years before becoming a fad.

Doppelgänger has come to be synonymous with evil twin, alter ego and clone. But where did it come from? It’s not easy to say exactly, because there are many meanings and, as best I can tell, many origins. In fact, it seems even the Doppelgänger has a Doppelgänger.

It can mean an omen of danger or death; a hallucination of one’s own image out of the corner of one’s eye, sometimes as a result of electromagnetic stimulation of the brain; looking in the mirror and seeing two faces; a mythological apparition of evil or just someone who looks very much like someone else.

There are references to Doppelgänger in poetry and literature, as well as historical references going back hundreds of years in the United States and Europe.

If you’re interested, I encourage you to go out and learn about each culture’s interpretation. Or perhaps you already know all this and I am the one who is late to the party.

Make mine a party of six—my five Doppelgängers and me.



Filed under All Things Wordish, Movies, Television and Radio, Reading, Technology and Social Media

Coming of age

Word Nymph has lived online for a whole month now.   That’s seven in blog years.

Her identity is evolving.  Before making her online debut, it took a month just to come up with a suitable name.  So what’s with this name, Word Nymph?  It must seem odd, especially to visitors who have recently stepped in.

The name was inspired by the purple-crowned wood nymph, a type of South American hummingbird.  There’s a loose parallel.  The Word Nymph speaks some Spanish and flaps her wings insanely fast, but it ends there.  Oh, and she likes purple.

The word “nymph” and the image it evokes—playful, not fully formed, like a fairy—comes from Greek mythology.

As the Word Nymph was creating her online persona, she imagined a park where all could play, squeal and intermingle over topics of common interest.   Words happen to be her fancy.

The Word Nymph also likes to laugh, mostly at herself, so she enjoys telling of her own ridiculous foibles and skewed observations. 

On this first day of May, she is thrilled to have so many playmates actively jumping in, bringing her grins and giggles every day.  She is looking forward to the summer, when she and her online buddies can kick off their Keds, nibble on Good Humor bars and keep up the folly.

Please remember – Word Nymph takes a break on Sundays.   Anyone for Swinging Statue?


Filed under Foibles and Faux Pas, Technology and Social Media