About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

When Only the Right Word Will Do

   I’m a writer.  Which means words are important.  They are the only tools at my disposal to convey a message to my audience.  I can’t rely on facial expressions or tone of voice.  My message has to come through via the words I have selected to appear on the page.

   Which leads me to this blog, a bit of a rant if you will.  It seems to me, that more and more, words are being grossly misused.  Here’s a list of six words I’ve been hearing more frequently, all of which aren’t being used as their original intended dictionary definition.

  1. Wicked.  A word meaning evil, harmful, or morally wrong.  Yet, “wicked” is often used to convey a sense of awe or amazement.  For example, John Travolta introduced a performer at this year’s Oscars as “wickedly talented.” 
  2. Bad.  Young children are taught that bad is the opposite of good.  I suppose it was Michael Jackson who changed the way “bad” is used and instead of it being a condemnation, it is now used as a compliment.  Being “bad” implies you are one of the best.  Rather than a negative, “bad” is used to brag and boast.
  3. Fresh.  I go grocery shopping for fresh food; food that is not expired or stale.  Others, however, use “fresh” to describe non-food items as in “Those shoes are fresh.”
  4. Tight.  Tight is used in many instances, but most often conveying a close-fit or describing something that is hard to open.  Nowadays, though, it is common to hear someone complimenting another’s performance, such as “That beat was tight” or “Jordan’s dunk was tight.”
  5. Dope.  Often, it’s a word used to describe an illegal drug.  Sometimes, it’s used to define a person who isn’t too bright.  But, then there are the instances when someone uses dope to mean “really good” or “amazing” as in “That song was dope.”
  6. Sweet.  Generally, sweet means “sugary in taste.”  It can also mean “pleasing, delightful.”  However, there are those that use “sweet” as the answer to someone else’s statement.  
“I finished my homework.”  
“My package arrived in the mail.”  

Readers, if you have any words you think should be added to my list, please let me know!


  1. It amazes me the topics you come up with to write about.I wonder how these words got to have so many different meanings from what we knew they meant to begin with.Some words are used much to freely,and they take away from the true meaning.I love you and I am so proud of you.

  2. I enjoy reading your work, and look forward to your blogs each week. It makes you wonder how they can change the meanings of certain words like they do. Your mother & I are proud of you.

  3. Honey,
    This was such a great observation on the way words are used these days. I am proud of the work you do every week on your blog! You are an awesome writer!