Calliope Writing

A Smörgåsbord of Language, Literacy, and Literature
July 28, 2015, 7:35 pm
Filed under: Books, Grammar | Tags: , , ,

Did you miss me? (Say you did, even if you didn’t.)

Aw, how sweet! I missed you, too. It’s been a long week.

But now I’m back, with several nuggets for your enjoyment. Before we jump in, let’s have a look at a word in this post’s title.


What a weird word. It’s one of those words that, if you look at it for long enough or write it down so many times, it stops looking like a real word (even if you’re not bothering with those special letters).

But it is one! Check out the following image (thanks, Google!) to learn about the word’s roots.

smorgasbord root words

Smörgåsbord has been used in its homeland of Sweden since roughly the 14th century, and it didn’t become widely used among other nations until (according to Wikipedia, the one source you should never use as a source) the 20th century. But after five minutes of Internet searching, I couldn’t find another solid claim as to when the word was first used, spelled “smorgasbord,” in countries other than Sweden.**

On with the smorgasbord, readers. Or, as Jeopardy would call it:

jeopardy potpourri

Bill Cosby, Where’d Your Endorsements Go?

I’m sure you have, at the very least, heard about the rape allegations surrounding Bill Cosby. Chances are you’ve come across myriad headlines referring to one of the many cases.

cosby biography

Since the forty-plus allegations, Cosby has lost quite a bit of public support (boohoo). The accused rapist was dealt another blow last week when the publisher of last year’s bestselling biography Cosby: His Life and Times pulled a number of celebrity endorsements from the book. Statements were made on the behalf of Jerry Seinfeld and David Letterman requesting that their quotes be removed from the cover. The biographer, Mark Whitaker, had this to say:

I was wrong to not deal with the sexual assault charges against Cosby and pursue them more aggressively … I am following new developments and will address them at the appropriate time. If true the stories are shocking and horrible.

Mmhmm. I’ll leave my opinions about Cosby’s case (mostly) to myself.

But here’s a very interesting article relating to Cosby, if you’d like to read more.

How Often Is XYZ English Word Used?

Well, don’t ask me! I sure as H-E-double-hockey-sticks don’t know. However, your question might get answered in the below video, which was created by Abacaba using this data.

Katy Perry’s Grammar Sucks

Not very news-breaking that Perry’s tweets are riddled with grammatical errors that would make just about anyone cringe.

katy perry grammar

The offensive tweet.

Last week, BuzzFeed helped us understand what Perry was really trying to say in the above tweet by pulling out the red pen and going to town.

Needless to say, it made me very happy.

Putin Has a Book Club…

…and it is way better than Oprah’s. Because it enforces censorship, of course! Read more here and share your opinion on the literary plan Putin has put in place.

I hope you all got a chuckle or a grin out of this post. And if not, I’ll just have to try harder next time, won’t I?

**If you find an authoritative source answering the question of when smorgasbord was used for the first time outside of Sweden, I will give you something special. I’m not sure yet what it will be, but it will be freaking awesome.

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hi! The smorgasbord question is certainly an interesting one! I’ll tell my daughter to find out more about this. It wouldn’t surprise me if its first usage outside of Sweden was in the USA. Thanks for inspiring me!

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Sarah

Nice! Please do let me know if you find something.


Comment by Katrina Robinson

Sure! I mean, I doubt she’s going to be particularly enthusiastic about it. Oh well, life.

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Sarah

Hi Katrina. Sadly, she wasn’t able to find anything conclusive about the word’s usage.

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Sarah

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