Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Photo of the Week (by me): Ring Thing

ring

Beautiful is boring. Click the pic for a closer view -- because that's what we do on the Web.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Much Ado about NOTHING

My wife collects antique bottles, including soda-pop bottles from bygone eras. Some of the names of defunct bottlers are evocative of summers past:
  • Minck's Better Beverages -- "A Sparkling Carbonated Beverage -- Triple Filtered Through Ultra-Violet Rays" (Brooklyn, NY)
  • M.H. Myers -- "For three generations, beverages of quality" (New York, NY)
  • Cheer Up (brand) -- "A Delightful Drink -- A Real Super-Charged Beverage -- For Hospital, Home, and General Use" (Morristown, NJ)
  • Hoffman Pale Dry Ginger Ale -- "Extra Dry" (Newark, NJ)
  • Skipper (brand) Beverages -- "Soda-Licious -- It's Fun to Drink" (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Manhattan Beverages -- "The Sign of Quality" (Woonsocket, R.I.)
Names like "Coke" and "Pepsi" just don't have the same ring.

Ultra-violet rays?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Random Sequence: animadvert on this

"Once I remember animaadverting severely upon the conduct of one who had spoken meanly malicious words of June herself -- words that I felt must wound her in a vital point."
--Marion Harland, "Seven Years", in Godey's Lady Book and Magazine, December 1864

(I found a bound copy of several issues of Godey's in my basement and have been flipping through the dusty pages.)

animadverting (verb, also "animadvert") = to comment or remark critically, usually with intense disapproval

Hmm, to say "animadverting severely" seems pleonastic.

The weird thing about this bound copy of Godey's (an American magazine) is that the issues are all from the 1860s, and there is not a single unambiguous mention anywhere of the American Civil War.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Word of the Day: oojah

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's....

oojah [OO-zsah] noun (TWITO, page 102)

a whatchamacallit; a thingumabob

"Portia had been ruminating for a week over what to name her 'junk shop,' as she referred to her second-hand gift store. Then it came to her. 'Oojah,' she whispered, as she fondled a lamp made from a moose antler."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Photo of the Week (by me)

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

They don't make 'em like they used to. (Click the pic for a closer view -- because you have nothing better to do.)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Link Mania: Wear Bloomers in Your Snuggery!

"I Love the Snuggery of Old Words"
Those who indulge in godwottery (the use of archaic language) will enjoy this.

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10 Words Every Book Lover Should Know
Including "incunabula" (TWITO, page 72 -- in its singular form "incunabulum") and "ultracrepidarian" (TWITO, page 153). Perhaps we are guilty of epeolatry.


~~~

15 words you didn't realize were named after people
How would you like to be immortalized by the dunce cap? Or underpants?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Much Ado about NOTHING: The 'F' Word

I am amazed at the number of ways there are to deliberately misspell the "F" word.

F--K
F**K
F*ck
Fcuk
Fuk
Phuck
etc.

And then there's "friggin". No one ever says "what the frig" or "frig you!" however.

I'm not sure why society is so afraid of the word "fuck", which is in every comprehensive dictionary, though usually flagged as "vulgar slang". It's a very handy and versatile word, serving as it does as a verb, noun, expletive, and even, in some contexts, as an adjective: you fuck face, you fucking asshole, etc. Maybe if it was also used in situations that did not imply anger or frustration it would lose its power to shock. Unfortunately, the only context in which it is used to indicate a positive emotion is apparently in bedroom talk or pornography. And that won't help.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Word of the Day: cachinnate

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's....

cachinnate [KAK-ih-nate] verb (TWITO, page 26)

To laugh loudly

Things that make me cachinnate (at least inwardly): bigfoot reports, possibly apocryphal George W. Bush quotations ("Why don't the French have a word for entrepreneur?"), pro wrestling, The Office (especially the British version), and puns.

evil clown

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Random Sequence: Redowas and Galops

"In the morning, however, as she sat in the parlor at the piano, drumming away at scraps of redowas and galops, Mr. Maxell came up to her, and, after a brief 'Good-morning,' asked her to continue her playing."
--Anonymous, "Seventeen" in Godey's Lady Book and Magazine, August 1864

(I found a bound copy of several issues of Godey's in my basement and have been flipping through the dusty pages.)

redowa (noun) = a Bohemian dance in the form of a waltz or a mazurka
galop (noun) = a lively country dance

The weird thing about this bound copy of Godey's (an American magazine) is that the issues are all from the 1860s, and there is not a single mention anywhere of the American Civil War.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Photo of the Week (by me): GhostFace

November 9 -- still Halloween on Bowers Street, Jersey City Heights
It's November -- and still Halloween on Bowers Street, Jersey City Heights. Click the pic for a closer view -- if you dare. (No, this isn't my house.)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Link Mania: Ding Dong Daddy, Are you an apptycock?

50 Old British Dialect Words to Incorporate into Conversation
Are you an apptycock? Try saying this to your peg-puff: "Let's bang-a-bonk and have a nipperkin of cuddle-me-buff." (It's not as risqué as it sounds.)

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The Best Worst Names in Superhero Comics
Some of my favorites (because either very creative, mystifying, or appalling) from this blog: Arm-Fall-Off-Boy, Borb Borbb, Calorie Queen, Dinah Soar, Ding Dong Daddy, Egg Fu (he's Chinese, duh), Hate Face, Lorloxx the Layer, Man-Thing, Microwavebelle, Oonagh Mularkey, Zebediah Killgrave, and Whirlicane. There are many more.

~~~

15 Words That Are Way More Interesting Than They Seem
If you think the word "cabbaged" hardly has a musical ring to it, think again.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Much Ado about NOTHING

What exactly is porridge, anyway? Is it like oatmeal? It's not on the menu at Applebee's.

My son, who has heard about porridge in fairy tales -- it's what the three bears eat -- keeps mentioning it at odd moments, which I take to be his stabs at absurdest humor. I jokingly asked how much I would have to pay him to try to order it at his favorite restaurant (Applebee's), but he declined the offer. Porridge sounds like a ridiculously antique dish intended for paupers, like something David Copperfield would eat. Does anyone still eat it today?

For some reason, I imagine porridge is similar to oatmeal, or perhaps like the milk-softened Grape Nuts cereal I eat every morning. It doesn't sound terribly appetizing. I imagine it would be only a step above gruel, yet admirably filling. After all, if anthropomorphic bears like it, porridge must have something going for it.