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Picture of Caterwauller
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I might be late in finding this, but have you all seen Save the Words that was put together by the Oxford Dictionary people? Very clever. If you move your cursor inside the smaller window, you can click on the words and get a brief definition as well as see the word used in a modern sentence. Very clever.

Sadly, Kalleh, epicaricacy does not appear to be on the site.


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Why are words important? Words are the cornerstone of language. The more words we have, the richer our vocabulary. Words allow us to communicate precisely. Without the right word to describe something, well… we'd be speechless.

I wonder if there's a word for the obsession to find a word for everything. We don't need the right word to describe everything. This is what phrases, clauses and context are for.

On the other hand, I like weird and cool words and there's a lot of them here.
 
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I wonder if there's a word for the obsession to find a word for everything.

Curiousity? Intelligence?


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I enjoy learning new words. My issue is with the idea that "Without the right word to describe something, well… we'd be speechless". We won't be speechless. We'll paraphrase. We'll never have the right word to describe every concept, and we don't need it.

I like the word "airgonaut"

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CW, that's a great site! I hadn't seen it before. I couldn't quite figure out what they were saying, though.

Goofy, sometimes a word that is dedicated to meaning something specific is more precise than putting together several words, at least in my opinion. I think this may be why we disagree about the ease of translating from one language to the next.
 
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Whale on weirds.


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Originally posted by Kalleh:
Goofy, sometimes a word that is dedicated to meaning something specific is more precise than putting together several words


I agree, but that's not really my point. My point is that if we lack a word, we're not speechless.

zmježd has said elsewhere that there are presumably an infinite number of concepts, but a finite number of words. We'll never have a one-for-one word/thing ratio.

Anyway, now that I've managed to derail the discussion, how about the word "speustic"
 
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Not sure what z is saying, but I assume he's disagreeing with me.

I see your point, goofy. And as for speustic, that's one word I think can easily be withdrawn with no effect at all.
 
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I assume he's disagreeing with me.

Nope. The words what need saving just moved me. Same with the whales.


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The word balderdash moves me and needs to be saved.
 
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The word balderdash moves me and needs to be saved.

I was unaware that it was in danger of extinction. It is an interesting word of unknown etymology. Its original, and obsolete, meaning of "A jumbled mixture of liquors, e.g. of milk and beer, beer and wine, brandy and mineral waters" (secundum OED2) is one I was unfamiliar with.
quote:
Quintilliano S'fut winesucker, what have you fild vs heere, baldredash? Taste Leonoro.
Leonoro Me thinks 'tis sacke.
Giouenelli Let vs taste sir, 'tis claret, but it has been fetch't againe with Aqua vitae.
Quintilliano S'light, me thinks, t'as taken salt water, who drew this wine you rogue?
George Chapman, May-Day (link)
I love the spelling and the punctuation. Milk and beer sounds dreadful.


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Originally posted by zmježd:
Milk and beer sounds dreadful.


There is a style of beer that has lactic acid added to make it sour. It's called sour ale. Sometimes it's really good, but I've had some that didn't work so well.

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Speaking of Balderdash, our on-line version needs your support. Please see Wordplay.


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I'm completely lost, but I do agree that milk and beer are not good sounding words. Wine sounds so much better.

And...speaking of wine: I really like a good white sparkling wine, and I'll order it that way from the menu, if it's not from Champagne. Yet, if it's a sparkling wine from California or somewhere else outside of Champagne, France, I find that the waiter will correct me and say, "Do you mean champagne?" It really isn't champagne unless it's from France, right?
 
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I'm completely lost, but I do agree that milk and beer [/i] are not good sounding words. Wine sounds so much better.[/i]

One of the meanings of balderdash as defined in the OED2 is "A jumbled mixture of liquors, e.g. of milk and beer, beer and wine, brandy and mineral waters". It is the mixture of milk and beer that sounds awful to me. Not the words themselves. Hope that helps. Did you know of the other meaning(s) of the word balderdash? I hadn't. I just knew of its "nonsense" meaning and the extension of that one to the game brand. I hope you're no longer lost. Wink


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It is the mixture of milk and beer that sounds awful to me.

We should ask Richard what it tastes like. I'm sure he's tried it.


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From what I understand, Champagne (capital C) is reserved for sparkling wines from the Champagne region of France, as you say. The system is known as "Appellation d'origine contrôlée" (controlled destination of origin) in France, and "Protected Geographical Status" within the EU.

However, from what I understand, since the USA is not a signatory to those agreements, similar sparkling wines are called "champagne" (small c) in the US, although snooty waiters (especially French ones) tend to disapprove.

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I hope you're no longer lost.
Thanks, z, and I am about to look it up! I just had no idea what that was in reference to, or I would have looked it up sooner.

Yeah, you're probably right about the snootiness factor, arnie. On the other hand, I have ordered a sparkling wine as champagne and been corrected by waiters as well, so I guess I just can't win. Wink
 
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Originally posted by Proofreader:
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It is the mixture of milk and beer that sounds awful to me.

We should ask Richard what it tastes like. I'm sure he's tried it.


Besides the sour ale I already mentioned, there's also milk stout - stout with lactose added to make it sweet. It's good.
 
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Besides the sour ale [...] there's also milk stout - stout with lactose added to make it sweet.

I suppose you could mix them for sweet-and-sour ale. Goes well with moo shu pork. Now, that's balderdash!


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z, thanks for introducing me to the etymology of one of my favorite words. No wonder I like it; the etymology is fascinating!

First the OED says the etymology is unknown. Then they cite 4 definitions: 1) Froth or frothy liquid (1596); 2) A jumbled mixture of liquors, e.g. of milk and beer, beer and wine, brandy and mineral waters (1611); 3) which is how we normally use it: A senseless jumble of words; nonsense, trash, spoken or written (1674); and 4) Filthy, obscene language or writing (with a dial. before it, which I assume to mean in certain dialects) (1849).

But here is the interesting note:
quote:
[From the evidence at present, the inference is that the current sense was transferred from 1 or 2, either with the notion of ‘frothy talk,’ or of ‘a senseless farrago’ or ‘jumble of words.’ Most etymologists have however assumed 3 to be the original sense, and sought its explanation in the obvious similarity of balder to dial. balder ‘to use coarse language,’ Du. balderen ‘to roar, thunder,’ Norwegian baldra, Icel. baldrast, ballrast ‘to make a clatter,’ and of -dash to the vb. dash in various senses. The Welsh baldorddus adj., f. baldordd ‘idle noisy talk, chatter,’ has also been adduced. Malone conjectured a reference to ‘the froth and foam made by barbers in dashing their balls backward and forward in hot water.’ Other conjectures may be found in Wedgwood, Skeat, and E. Müller. Cf. also BALDUCTUM.]
 
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Malone conjectured a reference to ‘the froth and foam made by barbers in dashing their balls backward and forward in hot water.

I'd sure froth and foam if it happened to me.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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I'd sure froth and foam if it happened to me.

Don't knock it till you've tried it.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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