Sam Litzinger's Home Page

A Cabinet of Curiosities

Sam Litzinger's
Good Words

Samuel Johnson

My father could remember entire paragraphs from books he loved. Unfortunately, he didn't pass this particular gift to me, so I have to write everything down. Then, of course, I usually forget where I put the piece of paper on which I'd written that very important thing I wanted to remember. So I'm hoping if I write stuff down on my website, I can always find it -- assuming I remember my website address.

Which reminds me, if you haven't read a wonderful short story by
Jorge Luis Borges titled "Funes, the Memorious", you should. Tie a string around your finger to remind you. Or better yet, just click on the link above.
Ever run across any of these words?

petrichor (PET-rih-kuhr) : the smell of rain on dry ground

nebulaphobia: a fear of clouds or fog

doddle: a very easy task (I heard this from time to time when I lived in London, but it's not much used in the States -- although it should be!)

I'm hoping to work these into CBS newscasts very soon, so keep your ears open for them!
Now a few words about two of my favorite poets, who are experts in the use of them.

Robert Pinsky writes a weekly column -- "Poet's Choice" -- for the Book World section of the Washington Post.  They provide a free graduate-level education in the art of poetry. Click on this link for an example.

Charles Simic has been the nation's poet laureate and a longtime champion of the form. He's looking for ways to promote poetry, so if you have any good ideas ("American Idol for Poets"? Poets battling it out on the Jerry Springer Show? The Poetry Powerball Lottery?), drop him a line. Follow this link to learn more.

"Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?"
- Henry Ward Beecher

"The covers of this book are too far apart."
- Ambrose Bierce

"This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."
- Dorothy Parker (I'd have been too terrified to meet her, but I'd love to have eavesdropped on her)

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
- Groucho Marx

"Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism."
- Hunter S. Thompson

Hans Holbein
"The Dance of Death"