ReadableBlog

Readability tips, literacy news, and English writing advice

Valentine's Day Cryptic

Right-o, sweetheart! (8)

Answer: TRUELOVE


Words You Just Hate To Read

It's hard to put your finger on why, but some words are just awful. These are some to be avoided as much as possible.

B

  • bap
  • blog
  • bulbous

C

  • chunky
  • clogged
  • coitus
  • crevice
  • crust
  • curd

D

  • damp
  • discharge
  • doily
  • dripping

F

  • fester
  • fetus
  • flaccid
  • flaps
  • frothy

G

  • giblets
  • goiter
  • gurgle
  • gushing

H

  • hubby

I

  • impactful

J

  • jowls

L

  • lugubrious

M

  • maggots
  • moist
  • moreish
  • mucus
  • munch

O

  • ointment
  • orifice

P

  • panties
  • pantyhose
  • phlegm
  • prideful
  • pustule

Q

  • queasy

R

  • renal
  • riddle
  • roaches
  • rural

S

  • secrete
  • seepage
  • slacks
  • slurp
  • smear
  • sputum
  • squelch
  • squirt

T

  • tofu
  • turgid

U

  • ululate

V

  • viscous
  • vomit

W

  • wellness
  • wifey

Y

  • yeast
  • yolk

New Year's Day Cryptic

Why nary a peep exchanged in timely greeting? (5,3,4)

Answer: HAPPYNEWYEAR


Christmas Day Cryptic

Excellent banger at Christmas dinner, standard (11)

Answer: CRACKERJACK


Start of Winter Cryptic

Picture a winter diversion of children (5)

Answer: SLIDE


Verbs of Love

Sometimes it's not enough to just say that two people love each other, sometimes you need something more evocative, or more precise. Here are a collection of verbs to use, when love just won't do.

A

  • admire
  • adore
  • adulate
  • appreciate
  • apprize

B

  • baby
  • be attached to
  • be captivated by
  • be crazy about
  • be enamored of
  • be enchanted by
  • be fascinated with
  • be fond of
  • be in love with
  • bill
  • bounce

C

  • canonize
  • canoodle
  • care for
  • caress
  • cherish
  • choose
  • clasp
  • cling
  • coddle
  • cosset
  • cotton (to)
  • court
  • cradle
  • cuddle

D

  • dandle
  • deify
  • delight (in)
  • delight in
  • devour
  • dig
  • dote (on)
  • dote on
  • draw close
  • drink (in)

E

  • eat (up)
  • embrace
  • enfold
  • enjoy
  • enshrine
  • esteem
  • exalt

F

  • fall for
  • fancy
  • favor
  • feast (on)
  • feel
  • feel up
  • fondle

G

  • gentle
  • get off (on)
  • glorify
  • go for
  • gone on
  • groove (on)

H

  • have affection for
  • have it bad
  • hold
  • hold dear
  • hold high
  • hug

I

  • idealize
  • idolize
  • indulge
  • indulge (in)

K

  • kiss
  • knead

L

  • lick
  • like
  • long for
  • look tenderly
  • lose one's heart to
  • luxuriate (in)

M

  • make love
  • massage
  • memorialize
  • mollycoddle

N

  • neck
  • nestle
  • nose
  • nuzzle

P

  • pamper
  • pat
  • paw
  • pet
  • prefer
  • press
  • prize
  • put on pedestal

R

  • regard
  • rejoice (in)
  • relish
  • respect
  • revel (in)
  • revere
  • reverence

S

  • savor (also savour)
  • shine
  • snuggle
  • soothe
  • spoil
  • spoon
  • stroke

T

  • take into one's arms
  • think the world of
  • thrive with
  • treasure
  • tryst

V

  • value
  • venerate

W

  • wallow (in)
  • wild for
  • woo
  • worship

Words You Just Love To Read

It's hard to put your finger on why, but some words are just beautiful. These are some of my favorites to see on a page.

A

  • achromatic
  • aeon
  • anosmia
  • antediluvian
  • argle-bargle
  • aurora
  • autumn
  • azimuth

B

  • bioluminescence
  • braggadocious
  • broccoli

C

  • coalescence
  • conciliatory
  • crepuscular
  • cretaceous
  • crystalline

D

  • deciduous
  • defenestrate
  • deooxyribonucleic acid
  • didactic
  • discordant
  • dodecahedron

E

  • elastic
  • elegiac
  • endeavor
  • entourage
  • ephemeral
  • epistemology
  • ethereal
  • exacerbate
  • exquisite

F

  • feckless
  • furuncle

G

  • gaunt
  • gossamer

H

  • heliotrope
  • hummingbird

I

  • indubitably
  • infinitesimal
  • insinuate
  • iridescent

J

  • juxtapose

L

  • lackadaisically
  • lamentation
  • lepidoptera
  • liminal
  • lithe
  • loquacious
  • lullaby

M

  • macabre
  • machiavellian
  • malefactor
  • melancholia
  • mellifluous

N

  • numinous

O

  • october
  • onomatopoeia
  • opaque

P

  • parhelion
  • persnickety
  • perspicacious

Q

  • quintessence

R

  • requiem
  • ricochet
  • rococo
  • rudimentary

S

  • salubrious
  • scrumptious
  • serendipity
  • shenanigans
  • shroud
  • silhouette
  • slake
  • snickerdoodles
  • subcutaneous
  • sumptuous
  • susurrus
  • sycophant
  • synecdoche

T

  • translucent
  • tumultuous

V

  • voracious

Z

  • zenith

Spice Etymology

Loving this infographic showing the etymology of the spices, created by @etymology_nerd.

The award for Most Enlightening goes to the origin of vanilla, but my favourite is the etymology of basil coming from the Greek for royal plant.


Thanksgiving (USA) Cryptic

Thanksgiving set up supporting first of Pilgrims (6)

Answer: PRAISE


Words That Put People Off in a Job Posting

It's hard to recruit good people, and these words and phrases are guaranteed to put off applicants. Avoid where possible!

1

  • 10x

C

  • clock watchers need not apply
  • code ninja
  • competitive salary

D

  • depending on experience

E

  • entrepreneurial spirit
  • exponential growth

F

  • family culture
  • family owned
  • fast paced
  • flat hierarchy
  • fun-loving

H

  • hands-on
  • high energy
  • highly motivated
  • hustle

K

  • kindly

M

  • must have a thick skin

O

  • occasional nights and weekends
  • on call as needed
  • overtime as needed

P

  • pre-screening

R

  • rock star

S

  • schedule tbd
  • self-starter
  • sense of humor

T

  • thrives in ambiguity

U

  • unicorn
  • urgent hire

W

  • wearing many hats
  • work hard and play hard

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