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Picture of Richard English
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It's unfair that one's prostate is the ONLY part of the male anatomy that gets bigger and harder with age!

I wrote a limerick to define "ageing" on OEDILF, which makes a sideways reference to this phenomenon.


Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReport This Post
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Picture of Kalleh
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This article about Facebook being doomed is funny, I think. I especially liked this quote:
quote:
Some kids refuse access to parents. Or they vanish entirely behind the Facebook firewall of privacy. One high schooler nuked his own mother. After she "friended" him twice, he reported her to the Facebook authorities for "harassing" him.
I joined awhile ago, and I found my daughters' sites and "friended" them. They thought it very weird that a "mom" would be on Facebook, so I've pulled out. Fortunately they didn't report me. Wink

Interestingly, daughter #1 found out that daughter #2 had broken up with her boyfriend by reading a facebook entry, rather than talking in person. They are close, too, so it's not that they never talk.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Katha Pollitt, from The Nation magazine, wrote an excellent article on how poorly feminism has fared in the U.S. in the last few years.

I did learn a new word from her, coruscating, meaning scintillating, brilliant, or sparkling. What a lovely word. [The context was a coruscating piece in Slate by Dahlia Lithwick. I will look for it.]
 
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I did learn a new word from her, coruscating, meaning scintillating, brilliant, or sparkling. What a lovely word.

See what the Word Detective has to say about coruscating.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Oh, but Tinman, do you agree? If one were to think that only the "common" words are the good ones, wouldn't the writing world be boring?

I loved the metaphors used in this Tribune article. Here's an excerpt:
quote:
Today my work is all false starts and detours. I tighten and loosen dozens of words, but can't get the tension right. I cobble together a paragraph from a page of spare parts, of disassembled metaphors I can't bear to throw away.
 
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Picture of shufitz
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Kalleh: I did learn a new word from her, coruscating
tinman: See what the Word Detective has to say about coruscating.

Even better, see what Wordcraft has to say about coruscating. Wink
 
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This isn't word-related, but I thought it was interesting:
Edwina Froehlich, 93, La Leche League Pioneer, Is Dead

La leche is Spanish for "the milk." Now it's word-related!
 
Posts: 2770 | Location: Shoreline, WA, USAReport This Post
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Why is it that one so often sees it written as, "The La Leche League?" The double article is redundant, yet it's very often used. By now darned few of us in the US don't know that "la" is "the" in Spanish, so that's no longer an excuse.

Now, milk that comment for all it's worth!
 
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"The La Leche League?"

It seems unremarkably normal to me. The the in the La Leche League goes with league and not La Leche. I can even imagine somebody saying that some other league is not a La Leche League. It's like arguing that a phrase like the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis is not correct, because in English we don't use definite articles with proper names. Interesting how Spanish uses a definite article with what in English is a non-count noun.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Picture of jerry thomas
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Others .....

The Los Angeles Times

... The Las Vegas mystique

..... Some of the Des Moines monks

........ The El Paso population

............. The La Brea Tar Pits
 
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Picture of zmježd
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The La Brea Tar Pits

Pico and Sepulveda,
Pico and Sepulveda,
La Brea (Tar Pits)!


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Why stop there? The al of algebra, algorithm, alcohol and (slightly hidden) aubergine and apricot is an article too. Arabic صَحراء (ṣaḥrā) means "desert" so Sahara Desert is redundant. Here are some more terms that are redundant because both of their elements are derived from the same source:
head chef
head of cabbage
chapter head
fava bean
golden yellow
chai tea
 
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Picture of BobHale
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Let's not forget such constructions as PIN number.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I hope they keep it the La Leche League, as it makes it more global than American or English (I assume they have them in England, too?). That someone has to look it up isn't all that bad, in my opinion.
 
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Picture of Caterwauller
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quote:
The La Brea Tar Pits

Which has a double redundancy, meaning The the tar tar pits . . . right?

I've always just heard "La Leche League", and not "The La Leche League". Maybe here in Central Ohio we have more French gals?


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
Posts: 5149 | Location: Columbus, OhioReport This Post
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Originally posted by Kalleh, June 15, 2008 22:32:
Oh, but Tinman, do you agree?

Yes, I do. Coruscating sounds pretentious to me. I have no use for the word.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Tinman, I wasn't only referring to coruscating. We can all disagree about individual words, as many do here about epicaricacy. However, his comment that coruscate is a fancy way to say sparkle rather irritated me. Isn't that the case with a variety of synonyms? Must we always stick to the "unfancy" way of writing? Isn't that the whole point of being a logophile?

This comment made me think that he has his own agenda:
quote:
Don't you realize that you're not supposed to know what "coruscating" means? You're supposed to be so intimidated and impressed by the reviewer's erudition and sophistication that you'll abandon your pathetic attempts to develop your own opinion and, in this case, just go buy the book. Personally, I stopped reading the New York Times Book Review several years ago when I learned how they compile their "Best Sellers" list. Suffice it to say that the process has a great deal more to do with books the editors believe "ought" to be best sellers than those that actually are.

I, for one, think the NY Times Book Review is one of the most cogent reviews around. I suppose I have my own agenda. Red Face
 
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Picture of Richard English
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Whose comment was that?


Richard English
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Word Detective's.

I still think the crux of this question is whether we should always stick to "unfancy" ways of writing. I don't use coruscate, I confess, but were I to hear it, I would merely consider it another way to say "sparkle." We have lots of synonyms and other ways of saying things. That's the beauty of writing, isn't it? That's where I disagree with Word Detective.
 
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Picture of Richard English
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I am inclined to agree. I don't think it's always right to use "difficult" words or constructions, especially when their use is simply to confuse - but I believe that there are times when it is quite appropriate to use a different word from the obvious one. This can add much to a piece of writing.

I always used to enjoy reading the "Reader's Digest" item "Towards more picturesque speech" (I hope I have the title right) since it had many metaphors and similes that were new to me.


Richard English
 
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Picture of arnie
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I don't mind - in fact prefer - the more obscure 'fancy' words, provided they are used correctly. I do have a problem when people use a word incorrectly; such as writing coruscating when they mean scathing, or moot to mean not worth discussion rather than the exact opposite.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Oh, arnie...you and your "moot." Wink In the U.S., at least, you've lost that battle.

For all you feminists, I loved this Katha Pollitt article about it always being about men. I couldn't find it online, so my link is from the Chicago Tribune. Therefore, you might have to subscribe online to read it, but it's free.

Here's the crux of it:
quote:
A handful of single women have sperm-bank babies: Fatherhood is dead! Girls start taking school seriously and, not surprisingly, get into excellent colleges: There's a war against boys in education! When women are underrepresented in a desirable field the usual explanation is their personal preferences: Women just don't want to do physics or sell refrigerators, and who are we to question their choices? Maybe it's genetic! With men, it's almost the opposite: No one asks why men don't become kindergarten teachers, and if men eschew an area they formerly dominated, it's because women are taking over and "feminizing" it—painting the office Seashell Pink, hanging lace curtains and leaving their cooties on the chairs.
She is so right.
 
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Toxic yes: Toxins? No
quote:
Toxins are poisons made by biological organisms — as in bee venom, snake venom, the damoic acid produced by some harmful algal blooms, or the blistering agents released by some insects. They are never a synthetic chemical, such as a pesticide, combustion byproduct, or flame retardant. They are never a natural inorganic chemical or element, such as lead, arsenic, or asbestos.

Consult any Webster's dictionary. Toxin is not synonymous with poison, although it is sloppily misused as such, as in this story — and dozens more that I encounter each month.

There is a reason why EPA refers to pesticides with the inelegant term "toxics." It's in recognition that these chemicals are not toxins but are toxic. It's the agency’s short-hand for the more accurate but boring mouthful: toxic substances.
 
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It's unfair that one's prostate is the ONLY part of the male anatomy that gets bigger and harder with age!


I'm reminded of a joke, which if told with a good burr usually goes over well:

A biology teacher in Edinburgh opened class one day with the following question.

"What part of the human anatomy can grow to ten times its normal size, in certain conditions?"

He called on Maureen, who, blushing furiously, responded, "Sir, I canna say."

He replied, "Young Maureen, I have three things to say to you.

1) You dinna read your homework, or you'd have known that it is the pupil of the eye.
2) You have a dirrrrrty mind.
3) You are going to be verrrra disappointed."
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I thought you might enjoy this Chicago Tribune article on libraries.

I really don't know how I feel about this. I realize it's important to attract kids to the library. However, I wonder how much of that "attraction" actually translates into more reading. Yet, I suppose keeping kids off the streets is a good thing.
 
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I think it's great. Literacy doesn't mean just "books". You have to read in order to play video games.
 
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I don't know what video games you play, but the most popular ones in the US don't require any reading skills at all. The younger generations like FPS games, GTA, and Guitar Hero, all of which can be played by total illiterates. The older generation likes solitaire and the many many descendants of Tetris and PacMan.

The only ones I play these days fall into the Adventure Game category. Most do require some reading skills, and the better ones contain some really challenging puzzles. Some are designed to be truly educational, with an included glossary and mini-encyclopedia. Some are even funded by educational organizations. The Cypriot coin theft one taught me more of the history of Cyprus than I otherwise would ever have learned.

But others just require simply clicking everywhere and trying to put the stuff you have collected in the right place in the right combination. (Give the can of grease that you got from the pirate in the lifeboat and the worn-out tennis shoe caught while fishing to the cook's parrot, but only after you have distracted the cook by setting fire to his hat.)
 
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hmm, good point. I play Warcraft III and World of Warcraft, which involve a lot of communication with other players (typing), and Wii games, some of which involve reading and some of which don't.

How about this: the games might not focus on reading but they do encourage socialization.
 
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Again, it depends on the game.

There's no socializing in Guitar Hero or GTA. Some of the FPS games are played in teams, which requires some co-ordination, but that isn't the kind of socializing that fosters greater understanding of the lives, habits, ideas and viewpoints of others. DDR is often played in a social setting, but the game itself is a solo endeavor.

Many of today's most popular games are widely condemned by the wowsers because they glorify, or even cause, anti-social behaviour.
 
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I don't know, I've seen kids playing Pokemon Battle Revolution and DDR, and they certainly were talking to each other and socializing.
 
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PBR still means Pabst Blue Ribbon to me, so I can't comment on that. I agree with you that DDR is often played in a social setting. But the socializing is not really a function of the game.
 
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Picture of shufitz
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quote:
Originally posted by Valentine:
I'm reminded of a joke, which if told with a good burr usually goes over well.
Love that joke. Any reason it has to be Scottish?

The version I've heard asks the hardest portion of the anatomy (namely, the enamel of the teeth), and the punchline is, "You, young lady, are an optimist." Wink
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I am sure all of you know about the new search engine, but just in case you don't, here is a link about it.

My daughter tried it and said so far she's not impressed. We'll see...

Here we are on Cuil.
 
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How did they get "cool" out of "cuil?" When I first saw it I would have pronounced it "kyoo-ill."


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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Picture of jerry thomas
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Originally posted by Proofreader:
How did they get "cool" out of "cuil?" When I first saw it I would have pronounced it "kyoo-ill."


It's supposed to be "an old Irish word for knowledge" - altho I can't find it in any dictionary. It might be in this one but it's not responding.

Maybe it was pronounced like "cool" in Old Irish. I think in modern Irish it would be [kʊlʲ] or [kɪlʲ].
 
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Picture of zmježd
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"an old Irish word for knowledge"

I read on their site that it's named after the Irish mythological figure, Finn McCool, though in Gaelic he's known as Fionn mac Cumhaill. In Vendryes' Lexique étymologique de l'irlandais ancien, I found cuil 'fly; gnat' and cúil (also cúl) 'corner; nook' (in French coin, repli, cachette). The Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla has those two words with the same meanings, and another entry for cuil 'angry appearance'.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Cuil is the Gaelic word for both knowledge and hazel, and features prominently in ancient legend.

This page also implies that the word is in Fionn mac Cumhail's name. They spell it McCuil.

"hazel" is coll.
 
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From goofy's link:
Any time he needed to know the answer to a question, he sucked his thumb.

So that's why kids suck their thumbs!



I found this in MacBain's An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language (Scottish Gaelic).
quote:
cùil
corner, recess, Irish cúil, Old Irish cuil, Welsh cil, *kûli-. See cùl

Information about the dictionary.
quote:
Published by Gairm Publications, 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6BZ
Tel. 041-221 1971
Printed by Clark Constable (1982) Let, Edinburgh
ISBN 0 901771 68 6
1st edition - 1896
2nd edition (revised) - 1911
Photolitho Reprint of 1911 edition - 1982

Keyed in by Caoimhín P. Ó Donnaíle, Sabhal Mór Ostaig.
HTML version by John T. McCranie, San Francisco State University.
The site contains this warning.
quote:
Warning! The dictionary (MacBain's) was keyed in by hand, and has not yet been verified. There are errors. A few have been quietly fixed during the conversion to HTML, while others were no doubt added, and many have been deliberately left in awaiting a double check of the data.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: tinman,
 
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This entry in MacBain's seems to be correct, you can compare against the printed version
 
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Picture of arnie
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Language Log has a post about it. They are a bit dubious about the purported etymology, too.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I haven't seen an enthusiastic response to Cuil. We'll have to wait and see.
 
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Picture of BobHale
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Today's responses to Cuil aren't just unenthusiastic, they're positively scathing.
I tried it out for about ten minutes but the results returned were almost random. Certailny not relevent enough to my searches for me to ever consider using it.
 
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LL has more on the word. I looked around as well. There is a connection between hazel and knowledge in Irish folklore, but of course that's very different than saying the word for "hazel" and "knowledge" is the same.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I always root for the underdog, the losing teams (I am a Cubs fan for heaven's sake!), the lowly politician who doesn't have a chance, etc. Therefore, I am starting to feel a little bad about this new Cuil. It is getting panned, from the linguists and from the searchers. However, let's admit it; Google hasn't done much lately with its search function. Yes, they've started Blogs and the like, but the searches have been the same for awhile. I really would like something with a little more detail about the Web sites and maybe some other bells and whistles.

Having said that, I haven't had good luck with my Cuil searches. I searched myself and got this terrible post from 2002 when I used to post on AWAD. I can't believe it's still there, and thank goodness it doesn't ever appear on Google.
 
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Picture of Proofreader
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Why don't you link to it and let us be the judge(s)?


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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Picture of Kalleh
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As my husband says, that and $2 will get you on the CTA (it's a regional thing). Wink

I have been searching around Cuil and finding some interesting things, such as some Web sites that have my limericks. One is Zumber.com, but the link failed. What is that Web site? Also, I found myself quoted in some publication, where I am positive I'd never been interviewed...and they had my position wrong! I am finding a lot out about myself on this Cuil. Big Grin
 
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Picture of BobHale
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zumber seems to be another search engine. I'd never heard of it before though. So the chances are that what you were seeing was another link back to here or OEDILF and nothing very interesting at all.
 
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Picture of zmježd
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CTA

The California Teachers Association? But, seriously, the onliest reason I knew what this TLA stood for, is because of the band formerly known as the Chicago Transit Authority. Wink


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Yes, whenever my husband thinks something will never happen (like the Cubs winning the World Series), he says, "That (the idea of their winning it all) and $2 (the CTA ticket fee) will get you on the CTA. I don't know if Shu made that up himself or not, but we use it all the time.

Perhaps that was all it is, Bob. Here's the link. It says that Zumber has compiled the best results on the web for atelectatic. Maybe it's just their search for atelectatic, which has always been one of my favorite medical words. I wrote that limerick at the beginning of the OEDILF "a's" and kept it on hold until it could be submitted because I wanted to have the first atelectatic limerick. [I am not immature or anything. Wink]
 
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