Hi, welcome to my website. I write short stories, novellas and screenplays, sometimes under the pen name T. T. Trestle. I’m also working on a couple of novels (or maybe vice versa). I live in Ottawa, Canada, a stone’s throw from the Parliament Buildings, assuming you have an exceptionally aerodynamic stone and the strength of ten men.

 

Latest Posts

Batman’s tag

Quite a few superheroes have descriptive taglines associated with them. For example, Superman is the Man of Steel and the Avengers are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Batman, Superman’s bestest frenemy, the rich man’s Punisher, has a tag that’s a bit of a head-scratcher: World’s Greatest Detective. After all, the Caped Crusader is not exactly Sherlock Holmes. Picture this conversation between Commissioner Gordon and our hero.

GORDON: Someone has stolen all the fishes from the Gotham Aquarium!

BATMAN: Hmm, who could have perpetrated such a nefarious act? The Riddler? Catwoman? Two-Face? I’ll have to return to the Batcave and do some detecting in front of a bank of really impressive computer screens.

GORDON: Hey, do you think it could have been the Penguin?

But Batman has already vanished into the night. 

 

 

 

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Concerning confusonyms

No one cares about confusonyms. Synonyms and antonyms get all the glory. We study them in school. We learn long lists of them. Everybody knows that the antonym of synonym is antonym. Even their slightly annoying cousin, the homonym, is a bigger star in the linguistic universe. I mean, isn’t it obvious what the difference between ‘bare’ and ‘bear’ is without having a word to describe the concept? (Note: if you don’t understand the difference then you should probably avoid the woods.)

How come the confusonym doesn’t get any love? It is the rarest of the -nyms. Practically mythic. If it were an animal it would definitely be a cryptid. It has a much more subtle definition than a word that means the same thing as another word. That’s boring. Dull. Tedious. Humdrum.

Unlike the confusonym, which rocs [sic]!

Confusonym n. a word that is mistaken for another word due to identical spelling with the exception of one letter.

One measly letter. That’s all it takes to change everything. For example, leech and leach. One is a slimy bloodsucking parasite and one is a boring verb that means to remove stuff from other stuff by filtering a liquid through it. If you don’t think there’s a big difference between the two words then I recommend you watch the leach scene in Stand By Me. I’m sure Wil Wheaton would have much preferred it to be a leech scene.

Oops. I just confused my confusonyms.

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John Oliver’s Technically Beautiful piece on Ottawa

A segment on the July 26 episode of John Oliver’s brilliantly hilarious HBO show Last Week Tonight skewered Ottawa over news that the city may not only be the second coldest national capital in the world (behind Ulan Bator) but also the infidelity capital (ahead of Kathmandu). The genesis of the piece was the rather surprising revelation that one in five Ottawa residents are registered on ashleymadison.com, a website for people looking to cheat on their spouses.

In introducing the segment, Oliver described Ottawa as, “The town known by locals as the city that fun forgot, and which once genuinely adopted the slogan ‘Technically Beautiful’.”

My jaw dropped when I heard those last two words. Those magical, masterful words. Back when this ill-fated slogan was adopted (very briefly) by Ottawa, I was a writer at the ad agency that came up with it. Myself and my fellow worker ants in the studio pointed out the obvious to the Powers That Be – this phrase would not be well received by the public. Its message is, of course, ‘Technically Beautiful… But In Reality Its A Hole’. I suggested that, if they liked those two words in tandem, why not go with ‘Beautifully Technical’ instead? However, the Powers That Be proved to be the Powers That Be Silly. Fortunately, city council killed the slogan both technically and actually dead.

Until last Sunday, when John Oliver brought it back to life and killed with it.

Last Week Tonight piece on the city that funny remembered

 

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