The Campaign to Make "Thrice" A Cool Word

Conan O'Brien is correct.  Some words may have ebbed in American usage but that does not diminish the quality of those words.  And the nonsense with which they are being replaced? Gadzooks!  We do not need strangely compounded words like ginormous (it even looks weird) when we already have gigantic and enormous. 

As for thrice, I'm not sure why it has waned.  We use once and twice regularly, and the number three is otherwise popular.  "Three's a crowd," "third times a charm," and "three strikes and you're out" immediately come to mind.  Perhaps the adjective thrice has no colloquialism to keep it in the minds and mouths of the populace.

As Conan has stated, thrice is a perfectly good word and is worth our dedicated attention to restore to its rightful place in our language.  For his part, Conan has aired several sketches that present occasions when the word thrice is an appropriate choice.  Do your part and use thrice as often as you find occasion to count to three.

Thank the wily crafters at for the this custom* little Conan you see here.  Yet another way to welcome Conan into your home.

*Note: I used the word custom, not custom-made. The adjective custom means made specially for individual customers. (My contribution to the Campaign Against Wasted Words; more to come in future posts.)


A Few Moments

Think      breathe    slowly
inhale              exhale
allow             the calm         to envelop

 I'm spending so much time these days rushing through, squeezing in, multi-tasking in the truest sense, that I sometimes fail to recognize the few moments during which I can allow calm to prevail.  (Even the word prevail is loaded with the effort of overcoming and the impending threat of chaos or, at least, busyness.) 

At times such as these when I can welcome the rhythm of the train rolling along the tracks and tune out the conversation of some and syncopated beats escaping the headphones of other fellow straphangers, I am grateful.  Each opportunity, a joy.  There are toxins yes, but, in these moments, they are limited.  The occasional onion-laden burger eater does distress the faculties, as do the mariachi bands, drummers, and whatever it is that woman who bangs and sings, "It ain't no joke, for real I'm broke" in an effort to garner money from other subway riders does.  The presence of these polluters intrude upon my opportune mental quiet.

Is there a point here?  I ask myself as I look up and notice that this evening's ride is a less crowded one as compared to my usual commute; there is no passenger seated or standing in the arc of chairs around me.  My personal space restored, I feel as though I am frolicking in a meadow.  (A bit ambitious? Still, I do.)  I am breathing air not immediately released from another's nostrils which is tantamount to fresh in this largely underground railway where at any moment the stench of rat excrement or decay can climb into one's nostrils and seize one's sensibilities.  But, the point?
The point, I suppose, as I cross the venerable Manhattan bridge, the cream-filling of a Brooklyn-Manhattan bridge sandwich, is that any small bit of peace/tranquility/quiet/calm one can muster in this oxymoronic cosmos is a good bit.

As I wrote the last three words of the previous sentence, which I thought would conclude this writing exercise (and yes, I do write in a journal with pen and paper sometimes), the train doors opened to Grand St. and the underwhelming odor of closing fish markets swept through the train car.

At least I had a good little bit.


Read Miracle at St. Anna

Inspired by, a blog that respects that your time is limited and that you are interested in the new and different, be it books, musics, or products.

Ever get so caught up in someone else's story that you are there? You feel yourself a participant or bystander in the action. Your heart races when danger is imminent and you're awash with relief when the group reaches relative safety. James McBride's Miracle at St. Anna does just that. Descriptions of war and beauty and human suffering that can only be experienced in one's innermost parts reverberate in the mountains and foothills of the Italian landscape. The dramatic, descriptive prose manages to maintain an element of suspense that keeps the reader/partaker feeling as though the novel is perpetually leading up to something (in a good way). The Buffalo Soldiers, like McBride's proud uncle who inspired the book, aren't simply characters, they are undeniably human with flesh that wounds and bleeds red blood, hearts that pound with joy in pleasant moments and sorrow at loss, and minds that are forced by circumstance to grapple with unholy realities. Read Miracle at St. Anna and experience an oft-ignored part of the Good War.

P.S. – Then watch Spike Lee directed movie adaptation released in 2008 with the tagline -

World War II has its heroes and its miracles.