Friday Funnies in Advance of the Eclipse

I’m so excited about the upcoming solar eclipse. The glasses I ordered for work showed up yesterday and when I brought them in today, my coworkers and I spent a few minutes discussing our eclipse plan.

After reviewing the detailed safety instructions on the glasses, we’ve decided to play “Blinded by the Light” since there is a particular reference about the fun of looking directly at the sun. I suspect the song will last longer than the eclipse itself.

We played the song, rocked out with air guitars, and debated the merits of using one of the glasses as a filter over the cell phone camera to record the eclipse.

Of course this also gave us an opportunity to make bad chemistry jokes, since the sun is made primarily of helium. Helios was a sun god in Greek mythology. He was a Titan eventually supplanted by Apollo, the god of light and an Olympian.

Onto the jokes:

A chemist was reading a book about helium. He couldn’t put it down.

Helium walks into a bar.
The bartender says, “We don’t serve noble gases here.”
Helium doesn’t react.

And finally, what did the scientist say when he found two isotopes of helium? “He He.”

Word Wednesday: Heritage vs. Lineage

Learning new words and being able to find the word that means exactly what the story needs can mean the difference between a mediocre story and a brilliant one.

On Wednesdays we will identify an unusual word, provide its definition, and discuss its application or its impact.

Time for another Word Wednesday!

Today I’m doing my civic duty—jury duty, to be exact. I look forward to sharing my adventures soon.

The words we’re reviewing today became a point of contention while I was writing “Redeeming the Demon’s Daughter.”

I chose to use “heritage” twice, and my husband questioned whether it was the right word in each case.

Here are the two original sentences:

  1. “My heritage did not help me either, for I was the daughter of Ravana, the demon who kidnapped their beloved king’s wife.”

  2. “Macchanu could not doubt the evidence of his own eyes, for Maiyarab taught him his heritage, taught him to worship and trust in gods.”

After consulting my handy-dandy dictionary and deciding what made more sense, I changed the first sentence to use “lineage” but kept the second sentence as it was.

So what’s the difference?

Heritage:

  1. Something handed down from the past, as a tradition

  2. Something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth; an inheritance

  3. Something reserved for one

There’s another specific definition used in Law, but I won’t pretend to instruct about the application of a legal term.

Lineage:

  1. Lineal descent from an ancestor; ancestry or extraction

  2. the line of descendants of a particular ancestor; family

Why did I change Sentence 1?

In the first sentence, Suvi is specifically referring to her father and to her ancestry as a demon. While I also meant her cultural background as a mermaid and a demon, the real meaning I want to convey hinges on her bloodline. So given these definitions, “lineage” describes it better.

Final sentence:

“My lineage did not help me either, for I was the daughter of Ravana, the demon who kidnapped their beloved king’s wife.”

Why didn’t I change Sentence 2?

In this case, Suvi is describing not just her son Macchanu’s parentage, but—more importantly—the cultural and religious aspects of his society and his role in it or obligations to it. So lineage would have changed the meaning of what I was trying to say.

Final sentence:

“Macchanu could not doubt the evidence of his own eyes, for Maiyarab taught him his heritage, taught him to worship and trust in gods.”