My Word's

a weekly column by
Marylaine Block

Archive, Volume 3

July, 1997-June 1998

Subject Index


Current Column


Volume 1

(July 1995-June 1996)


Volume 2

(July 1996-June 1997)


Volume 4

(July 1998-June 1999)


Volume 5

(July, 1999-December, 2000)


Volume 6

(January, 2001-present)


Who IS Marylaine Block?


See the rest of my online work at


E-mail marylaine at

  1. Two Years Before the Masthead -- reflecting on the first two years of the column

  2. Take a Good Look -- people overlook and underestimate old ladies.

  3. Things That Make Me Go "Huh?" -- sometimes the world does not make sense.

  4. Learning To Be Plaid -- learning to forgive people for their imperfections and failures

  5. Half-Wired -- online, but not a full-fledged geek

  6. Half a Human -- how we learn to act our gender, or choose not to

  7. Words To Be Wise -- we need words to think with

  8. Saved by Katharine Hepburn -- the undying appeal of the screwball comedy

  9. We're Number 300! -- I wouldn't put my town at the bottom of Forbes' list of most livable cities

  10. Playing Hooky at the Start of School -- poems by my son, Brian Block

  11. Give Me Liberty -- trying to understand libertarians, part I

  12. Remote Control -- trying to understand Libertarians, part II

  13. A Death in the Family -- the death of an independent bookstore is a sad thing

  14. The Mouse Police -- on the joys of owning kittens

  15. Something Wicked This Way Comes -- an appreciation of Stephen King

  16. While You've Got It, Flaunt It -- my list of things not to die before doing

  17. The Internet Made Me Do It -- yet another bad rap fastened on the internet

  18. Shiny Happy People -- on how incredibly easy it is to make people in TV ads blissfully happy

  19. Power Failure -- we have far more power than we realize

  20. the Almost Perfect State -- my idea of an almost perfect utopia

  21. Advice for Desperate Men, revised -- on buying gifts for women

  22. Lighting Candles -- on the teachers that light candles in our minds and change our lives

  23. To Serve You Better -- why is it so many frustrating annoying innovations in our lives are supposed to serve us better?

  24. Drawing with a Skewer -- on editorial cartoons

  25. The Cat's Christmas

  26. Thanks for Christmas -- on the utter sappy enjoyment with which I approach the season.

  27. My Year in Books

  28. Attention Deficit -- how hard it is to pay attention when there's so much stuff going on

  29. Oh, Do You Know the Muppet Man? -- a tribute to Jim Henson

  30. Testing, 1,2,3,4 -- one of the great untested assumptions is that tests actually do measure what they say they measure

  31. Making Monsters -- how bullies were allowed to turn into monsters because none of the adults would stop them

  32. Ask Better Questions -- if you want better answers

  33. Stuck Together with God's Glue -- what we gain from suffering

  34. Starr Chamber -- on the special prosecutor's absolute determination to find something to get Bill Clinton on

  35. Categorical Denial -- our mental categories can inhibit our understanding of the world

  36. Winning the Title -- on choosing good titles for columns, books, and such

  37. One of a Kind -- we desperately want to be unique and to be known.

  38. Five Letter Word -- how did "adult" come to mean depraved?

  39. All By Myself -- we give ourselves credit for all our accomplishments, but give no credit to the society that helped us do it

  40. Ghetto Blaster -- some thoughts on using the strengths of the people in the inner city to improve their neighborhoods and lives

  41. The Queen of Touchy-Feely -- on the orgasms of sentiment surrounding Princess Di's death

  42. A Sharing of Books -- my friends and I talk about books we love

  43. The Woman from F.I.B.S. -- a tribute to Christine Lavin

  44. Roses by a Different Name -- makers of modern day proverbs

  45. How I Spent My Summer Vacation -- my first trip to the Rockies

  46. A Field of Dreams -- on the unreal but lovely world of college campuses

  47. Sexual Harassment -- trying to figure out some rules men could safely abide by

  48. Getting to Solla Sollew -- a tribute to Dr. Seuss

  49. Arguably Better -- some civilized ground rules for dealing openly with conflict

  50. Borders Skirmish -- an answer to the librarian who claimed Borders does a better job than libraries do

  51. Scribbles on Pages -- my answer to the question, "how do you think up this stuff, anyway?"