But surely herpetology is amphibians. Would the study of mongeeses be herpestology? And what would a herpest be? A venereal disease causing sharp teeth, appetite for cobra egg, and a predilection for saying "rkchkchkchkchkchkchkchk!" in the traverse 'tween bed and bathtub?
Beginning a recent final descent some steward observed over the PA "The captain has illuminated the fasten-seatbelt sign..." For some reason I heard eliminated and spent most of the balance of the flight imagining various possible violent means of sign elimination by captains before I realized elimination of a sign didn't jive with turning it on.
Spotted this in the Milwaukee airport tonight -- a large sign designated a number of tables past the security scanners as the "Recombobulation Area". I wonder who the clever logophile was who coined this, and the significance of the tacit admission that the whole rigmarole of airport security is indeed discombobulating.
The crazy thing is, I'm fluent in this stuff now, after having been here for so long. სულ თავისუფლად ვლაპარაკობ ქართულ ენას... never would have guessed, after making this list after the 1st trip those many years ago. მიყვარხარ საქართველო!
Really fascinating to observe the complete changeover in meaning of this word in the past century, from geography and botany to hygiene. The full sets of definitions by American Heritage and Century have almost no overlap. It would be very interesting to trace the semantic shifts more carefully, but at the moment all I can observe is (a) there used to be a mill on one of them and (b) TMItter.
Perhaps I've been *severely* overly influenced by Spanish ocupar. Now that I mention this fact to the world it might also only exist in certain dialects. Funny how I was so sure it was valid in English too.
Here's a hint: the differences in meaning between λόγος and νόμος are excellently explained by exact parallel between the English words astrologer and astronomer. I'm assuming of course you know "aster" means "star".
Mt'redi: sticking with the theme begun at columbarium. Means "dove". Always kind of liked this word. There's also a town called სამტდრედია, Samt'redia, kind of "the place where doves are, which town has always amused me. Occupy სამტდრედია!
I was going to come here to report A VERY PERSISTENT BUG THAT HAD BEEN ANNOYING ME OVER THE LAST THREE MONTHS. Namely that when I went to a word's page and saw my list of lists there, I would want to right-click on the name of a list and open it, and see my list! როგორც we kinda used to be able to a long long time ago in prehistory. PAGE NOT FOUND, the hell what is this PAGE NOT FOUND. But now I just realised that oops, what actually that LINK is for is it is a LINK to add said word to a LIST (and I accidentally added sherbet to a list just now, to prove it, on a list it doesn't belong in, but I'm leaving it anyway). So no wonder PAGE NOT FOUND when I try to open in new window. The hell. So it's not an ANNOYING BUG, just my stupidity. In this case, instead of reporting this ANNOYING BUG can I very *humbly* ask that maybe I can have some way to link to my lists from a word page? როგორც kinda how we used to. Not exactly, 'cause it wasn't ALL our lists, but some, anyway, well, anyway, it was on the same spot on the screen and I'm a fogey and an old one at that and it doesn't work the way როგორც it kinda used to, kinda. And while I'm at it I want a wittle scrollie bar for long comments like this 'un. 'Cause the beginning of my comment is afraid of the dark and I want to be able to see it when I want, without futzing about with arrow keys, the hell. როგორც kinda we used to, maybe, 'cause I can't remember that far back anymore. Maybe there wasn't a wittle scrollie bar and the wittle comment box just enlargenified. Yeah, prob'ly that was it. Guess which book I'm reading? No, don't.
In a few days' time I'll be taking a vacation from საქართველო to schmooze through the Netherlands for two weeks. This includes a day's stop at the wonderfully named city of 's-Hertogenbosch, or Den Bosch, pretty much solely for this reason. It's such an amazing idea I can't believe I've never heard of it before.
I find this adjective very interesting in terms of its connotational semantics. Part of a religious upbringing set Century #4 as the chief definition in my mind, thus establishing it as a negative adjective; but most instances I hear nowadays are along the lines of American Heritage #2, a generally positive attribution. Nevertheless I retain a negative impression on hearing this word and have to artificially remember its positive use.
I saw the use of this as a synonym for yearn, pine. Dictionaries here say it's all right but it still seems a misusage to me -- I've never seen it contextually thus in any real author. Can someone contradict?
"There was a sad and melancholy cadence in her voice, corresponding with the strange and interesting romance of her situation. So young, so beautiful, so untaught, so much abandoned to herself, and deprived of all the support which her sex derives from the countenance and protection of female friends, and even of that degree of defence which arises from the forms with which the sex are approached in civilised life,—it is scarce metaphorical to say, that my heart bled for her."
I like a straighter "appeal of the void" but I don't think that's as accurate.
As for me, I don't know how to describe it exactly...mostly an intense curiosity or reflection about just how interesting it would be for myself and everybody else if I jumped. After all, you'd be able to see practically unique sights that nobody in the world has seen before...
I actually enjoy having that list of lists when you want to add a word. It's a deal more convenient than the old drop-down box.
Going half-way down the page for comments, of course, leaves something to be desired, but one grows easily into a habit, and at any rate if I was discovering the site right now I don't think I'd realize how annoying it was.
Can't be bothered to find the "lost for word" page right now, but there's got to be something for the way nobody ever likes a website redesign. Every time Facebook does a Facelift there's scads of whingers complaining their life is ruined -- usually the same ones who abominated the layout just gone when they were first subjected to it. As I recall nobody liked it when Wordie became Wordnik. I remember missing Wordie's interface a lot, but I can't remember for the life of me what was so good about it anymore, aside from cosy familiarity. Maybe it's time to dig out the Wayback Machine?
All that said any website can always become better. And I'm only a critic of the buttons and lights, not the foul dæmons beneath enslaved for æternity to make them manifest to me; the magic which might make one of these creatures sick and weak is utterly mysterious to me. Moral: I at least can be grateful for anything I have. Second moral: That said, there's no reason not to always strive for greater excellence. And I'm pretty sure our developers aren't actively trying to avoid that.
Examples: the black bar at the top does seem a little overbearing. Perhaps other colours could be experimented with. It's odd to not have the number of listings and comments next to words in lists. Is there a good reason they're gone?
In parting: a toast to umbrage! May there always be an abundance for the taking, and may it always be phony among friends!
I discussed this with a French friend of mine a few weeks ago while overlooking Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi from a third floor balcony (which are ubiquitous the country over). She had just returned from Stepantsminda, a very beautiful mountain town to the north, to which I have not yet been. Her comment: "It might not be a good idea for you to go; there's a lot of vide there."
The lesser-known, multifunctional quesadilla! Mouth-wateringly unwholesome A bone-forming croquette A jealously-guarded untraditional potpie! (You've also got 'masala' and 'satay' in this list, But I have no idea what they are.)
Is not the mounted liger, who, With mortled seam and crescent brow, Shuns carbonado'd crespitude And fetters long the sem'nal wits By kindred shaggy grace inspir'd Brought thus by cyrene pilgrimage To prepossessing grace?
As by analogy cringing, tinging, binging and whinging. I suppose the deviance serves to avoid ambiguity, but I wonder how the practice came to be such. Most other words ending in eing seem to be of the classes -ieing, -eeing, or rarely -oeing, or less common variants of accepted spellings -- also eyeing and dyeing (dying, incidentally, is quite an odd reversal of the typical y - i substitution). I do think I've seen bingeing in places, however; somehow my certainty of judgment (judgement??) fails me on that one.
The one exception seems to be ageing, which is a British usage, the American beingaging.
No, it's correct on Wiktionary. It's just been pulled into our database incorrectly. As you can see, it's a very correct definition: refusing to define ATM machine, they only make a reference to pleonasm.
I always keep a piece of chalk in my backpack in case of situations just like this one. Didn't occur to me to stand on; I'd just got in on the overnight train and in fact spent the next hour asleep on the bench visible.
I think it's very classy to be able to write a good-looking ampersand by hand, in one swift smooth motion, without stopping to try to remember which little pointy bit to start at, and which way to make the loop, and whether it goes the same direction as an 8 or the other way, and if the other way exactly how to do the other way, and getting fed to the gills with all the fuss in such a tidbit of a character and resorting to the vulgarity of a plus. I can't do it. Yet.
I also highly approve of the usage &c., which is incidentally living proof and reminder to the the likes of blafferty that the ampersand was created as a ligature for Latin et.
Thoughts about prescriptivism: I believe that everyone ought to be entitled to two or three linguistic pet peeves. Mine happens to be forte, born probably of my musical background making its Italian pronunciation by laymen sound dumb to my ears. With all that, all the time I've spent on other languages in the past years has been increasingly making me realise just how fiercely independent all of us English speakers are about our language, most of us quite unconsciously. The textbooks I teach out of for Georgian schoolchildren invent ten times as many rules to govern English than I've ever seen in any grammar or style guide; most of them happen to be true in a vague sense, but really they're just canons our language has adapted itself around while asleep, which our waking speakers and writers never bother to consider. Our fabled pronunciation, I feel more than ever, has to be indicative of the extreme sense of humour innate to the English speaking people; usage and syntax are only a little less lax. Even the strictest classicist will unassumingly use coinages and constructions that a Georgian speaker wouldn't even know how to blanch at: it simply wouldn't be possible. (This 'strictest classicist', incidentally, no longer truly exists; the breed flourished well in the Victorian Era, entered old age as airplanes left the ground, and perished its last specimens in the middle of the 20th century. Duckbill has a point that the literature of that time was quite certainly the most precise probably of any period of history so far, and possibly yet to come, lending an unwitting humourous colour which I enjoy very much; but there was just as much dreck in those days as there was in ours and Cromwell's.)
Thoughts about "muša": the word in Georgian means "worker".
shetankhmdebodnen -- Georgian for "they made an agreement with each other". Yes, I can pronounce this. I'm still a little distant from being able to use it in a conversation, but it nevertheless sounds very impressive when said in an angry tone of voice.
So far there are no direct flights to Tbilisi from anywhere in North America (actually, not really any from Asia either). The farthest aeroplane comes from London. Of course, the Chicago leg is utterly unnecessary, since flights from Dulles go to any number of convenient places in Europe, but I didn't book my own tickets.
BWI is in Linthicum, I suppose (not West Friendship, which is where dont_cry lives).
A friend of mine told me yesterday that Istanbul is actually not a Turkish word, but a corruption of the Greek for "in the city". I don't have time to confirm this now, but it sounds interesting. I'll have seven hours there. Maybe that will be enough to see someplace. I'm thinking about the contents of my personally memorized lexicon of Turkish...let's see, here we are:
To the attention of our United State of America passengers;
United States of America National Transportation Safety Board requests to receive the information of name, surname, sex, and date of birth of passenger’s flying to USA or from USA at least 72 hours before the flight time as of 01 November 2010.
The passenger who cannot provide this information may not travel to USA or from USA after 01 November 2010. Turkish Airlines momentously requests its passengers who fly to USA to complete required information before 01 November 2010 by applying Turkish Airlines Sale Offices or travel agencies where they obtain their tickets.
-- The Turkish Airlines website. Tomorrow: Baltimore -> Chicago -> Istanbul -> Tbilisi.
Have ever you harked to the jackass wild Which scientists call the onager? It sounds like the laugh of an backward child Or a hepcat on a harmonica. But do not sneer at the jackass wild There's method in his heehaw For with maidenly blush and accent mild The jenny-ass answers shee-haw.
Another humourously false irregular past participle (see also shat and brung), formed no doubt by analogy to sink - sunk, stink - stunk and drink - drunk. The simple past form thank does not exist, likely because of its use a separate word and the prevalence of thought as past tense even when this spurious participle is used. An argument could be made for a similarly spurious formation in plink - plunk. I could possibly attest to experience of that usage; however, both of those words are onomatopoeic enough that grammatical change between them seems subsidiary (as also in clink - clunk). No ablaut occurs for wink or link (or fink or dink for that matter, but they are a good deal more dialectical).
While proofreading someone else's document, I came across the phrase "a AAA financial guaranty insurer". This phrase, I decided, was correct, and should not be "an AAA...", because in this case AAA is pronounced "triple-A".
Trying to teach myself calculus again. Evidently the opposite of increment, but much less commonly used. Perhaps that's why it sounds really cool? Actually, I'm pretty sure I like this word only because every time I see/hear it I think specific decrement.
Also, for example, reënter. I do enjoy using this style, but most often in writing, because yanking the diaeresis from Character Map takes too long, I'll settle for a hyphen, as co-ordinate, re-enforce.
There are strange things done in the midnight sun, by the men who moil for gold; The Arctic trails have their secret tales That would make your blood run cold; The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, But the queerest they ever did see Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge I cremated Sam McGee.
I was quite amused to discover, during the very first days of my summer in Peru, the habit of greeting taxi drivers and other informal acquaintances with the mere word "buenas", an abbreviation of the formula for either good morning, afternoon, or night. It struck me as odd at first, because it's just a trailing adjective stuck to nothing -- but then I realised it was no more peculiar than the emphatic declaration of "morning" -- as if you were pointing out such a state to the unobservant, or hortatorily imploring its prolongation.