Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  The Vocabulary Forum    Miscellaneous Words
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Miscellaneous Words Login/Join
 
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted
No theme this week. Just some miscellaneous words I found interesting.

abseil (accent on 1st syllable) – to rappel; to descend a near-vertical surface using a rope coiled round the body and fixed at a higher point
[German "to descend at the end of a rope": ab down, off + Seil rope]
[rappel is French meaning "to call back"; akin to appellation "name"]

Boys will be boys …
    The Prince of Wales has ordered a full investigation into allegations that Princes Harry and William abseiled down a dam without proper safety equipment. Prince Charles has said that if he learns his sons acted without proper caution, he will make it clear he is "not amused" by their behaviour. The company which operates the dam and reservoir said it would not be prosecuting whoever [sic] organised the royal abseil.
    – BBC News, Aug. 10, 1998
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
dewlap – a fold of loose skin hanging from the neck
(originally applied to certain animals, such as cattle; now also applied to people)
    Uncle Henry was minus … his fat stomach as well. The skin of his pink fat face hung down in loose folds like the dewlaps of a bulldog and his long white hair was indescribably dirty.
    – Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind

    Fire burst from its open mouth, its eyes glowed with a smouldering glare, its muzzle and hackles and dewlap were outlined in flickering flame. Never in the delirious dream of a disordered brain could anything more savage, more appalling, more hellish be conceived than that dark form and savage face which broke upon us out of the wall of fog.
    – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
proxemics – the study of "personal space" between individuals
[term coined in 1963 by anthropologist Edward T. Hall, who defined it as "the study of how man unconsciously structures microspace – the distance between men in the conduct of daily transactions, the organization of space in his houses and buildings, and ultimately the layout of his towns."]

I find this subject very interesting, so I'll give you a long quote.
    Chances are that in the last week someone has irritated you by standing too close, talking too loud or making eye contact for too long, [by] the high-pitched shrill emanating from their iPod or by spreading their legs unnecessarily wide on a packed subway car. Strangers stand very near to you on line? People take the bathroom stall next to yours when every other one is available?

    With urban corridors becoming denser, interest is intensifying in studying personal space, a field known as proxemics.

    Scientists have recently observed the avatars in a cyber game, a virtual reality universe, [and] found that the unwritten rules of personal space are so powerful, people even impose them on their cyber selves. The fact that they show up in the virtual world shows how deeply ingrained they are.

    People rarely realize how entrenched proxemics are. Scholars can predict which areas of an elevator are likely to fill up first and which urinal a man will choose. People will stare at the lighted floor numbers in elevators, not one another. Commuters will hold newspapers in front of them to shield themselves from strangers. At a library table, it’s very clear what seat somebody will take. If you break those rules, people will pile up books as if to make a wall.

    Preferences differ from culture to culture. Americans generally prefer more personal space than people in Mediterranean and Latin American and Arab countries.

    Yet it is rare for people to have confrontations about personal space. Rather, they will likely angle and inch their bodies away. Blood pressure may rise, the heart rate may go up and the palms may sweat. Humans tend to avert eye gaze if they feel someone is standing too close. They retreat to corners, put distance between themselves and strangers, and sit or stand equidistant from one another like birds on a wire.

    Proxemics, on a larger scale, helps developers, urban planners and executives in various industries understand how people move through public spaces, how they shop, even what type of restaurants they find most comfortable. Some scholars say this goes a long way toward explaining the iPod craze, which turns city streets and commuter trains into islands of individuality.
    – New York Times, Nov. 16, 2006 (heavily edited, for brevity)

This message has been edited. Last edited by: wordcrafter,
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
quietus
1. death, as a release from life (or other removal from activity)
2. an ending [in the sense of putting an end to hopes, plans, an incident, etc.]
[from Latin quietus est ‘he is quit’, used as a receipt on payment of a debt]
    It looks as though Armstrong had got his quietus.
    – Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None

    The cost of upgrading the station to current EPA requirements was astronomical. The six-digit number put the quietus on her or anybody else making a living from selling gasoline from the old service station.
    – Dixie Cash, Since You're Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash


Note: the dictionaries differ a bit from what I've put as #2, but I think my version is more accurate. Further meanings are (i) something that quiets, calms or represses; (ii) final settlement (as of a debt)
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Regarding your proxemics, there is a similar word that we've discussed here, dissemia, which describe people who have no concept of personal space and therefore invade the personal territory of others. As was discussed in the thread that I linked to, cultures often vary with personal space requirements. I am the type who will back up and back up when someone gets too close to me. For example, I just hate it when people in my aerobics class impinge on my territory.
 
Posts: 23317 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
I am the type who will back up and back up when someone gets too close to me

I'd been marched backwards across a room by Israelis several times before I realized they were closing the interpersonal space to be polite and I was opening it up to be polite.
 
Posts: 1245 | Location: San FranciscoReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
klaxon – a type of loud warning horn, used for warning sirens (for tornados, air raids, civil defense, etc.) and submarine dive-alerts; formerly used on automobiles
[from the company-name of its maker, which comes from Greek meaning "to shriek" or "to roar"]

A further case of "boys will be boys":
    . . ."I wonder if Hermione has seen this yet?" Harry said, looking around at the door to the girls' dormitories.
    . . ."Let's go and tell her," said Ron. He pulled open the door, and set off up the spiral staircase. There was a loud, wailing, klaxonlike sound and the steps melted together to make a long, smooth, stone slide. Ron tried to keep running, arms working madly like windmills, then he toppled over backward and shot down the newly created slide, coming to rest on his back at Harry's feet.
    . . ."Er - I don't think you're allowed in the girls' dormitories," said Harry, pulling Ron to his feet and trying not to laugh.
    – J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (ellipses omitted)
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
When a child makes a project from construction paper, the remains are odd-shaped scraps of leftover paper. As far as I know there's word for such "scraps left over after the desired design has been removed". Perhaps today's word, a ridiculously obscure one, could be pressed into service for that purpose?

scissel – (in coin-making, where "blanks" are made by punching circles out of a sheet of metal) the perforated, "holey" metal piece remaining, after the punch-outs
    From good British copper the Mint was to blank and coin, returning the scissel to the supplier who was to bear the cost of remelting.
    – C. E. Challis, A New History of the Royal Mint
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Back in the day, computer paper came in continous folded sheets with holes on the edges. Pages were advanced by pinwheels in the printer.

The edges with the holes were perforated and could be torn away. We used to call these bits "flinders," another terms for leftovers.


RJA
 
Posts: 485 | Location: Westport CTReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
    All philosophers, who find
    Some favourite system to their mind,
    In every point to make it fit,
    Will force all nature to submit.
This quote from Swift opens Headlong Hall by Thomas Love Peacock. I mention it because I like the lines, and also because Peacock later coins two amusing, totally-ridiculous terms which are today's words-of-the-day. Each means simply "the body", but Peacock can't be simple!

osteosarchæmatosplanchnochondroneuromuelous; osseocarnisanguineoviscericartilaginonervomedullary – "Both terms, from Greek then Latin, enumerate the bony fleshy bloody gutsy gristly nervy marrowy totality of the body."

Our quote is much abbreviated, for the original goes on and on and on and on and on and on …
    Mr Cranium proceeded: "… I invite you, when you have sufficiently restored, replenished, refreshed, and exhilarated that osteosarchæmatosplanchnochondroneuromuelous, or to employ a more intelligible term, osseocarnisanguineoviscericartilaginonervomedullary, … or shell, the body, … to take a peep with me into the mechanical arcana of the … universe. Being not in the least dubitative of your spontaneous compliance, I proceed … ." Saying these words, he vanished.
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Arvanitis:
The edges with the holes were perforated and could be torn away. We used to call these bits "flinders," another terms for leftovers.

Another word coined for that was "perfory." I kinda liked it, but I don't think it caught on.
 
Posts: 2772 | Location: Shoreline, WA, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
"perfory"

I've heard perf (link), selvage, and chad, but only used the first one in conversation. Luckily, along came laser and then ink-jet printers and the paper went back to normal. (I still had a box of fan-fold computer paper in the garage, but got rid of it at a recycling center this year.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
<Asa Lovejoy>
posted
We still use perforated-edge paper where I work in the repair order and invoice printers. I bring home the discarded paper, tear off the edges and print on the unused side. Waste not, want not!
 
Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Proofreader
posted Hide Post
A five-hundred pound guy named Bruce
Found for fan-folded paper a use
You may think that it's old
But for him it is gold:
By his toilet, it wipes his caboose.


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.
 
Posts: 6021 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
We still use perforated-edge paper where I work

Ah, the sound of a dot matrix print head zipping along. I haven't heard that for a while. Sort of like the sound of two modems handshaking. (The other night I dreamed of a rotary dial phone with a physical bell ringing.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
zmježd:

A young nephew stayed over not so long ago; had NO idea how to use the BellLabs rotary phone in the guest bedroom.

Some still do the index finger motion when we sign for someone to call us.

Likewise, we crank the forearm to ask someone in a car to roll down the (power) window...


RJA
 
Posts: 485 | Location: Westport CTReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Proofreader
posted Hide Post
We have a replica 1920s phone on the wall in our kitchen. Every so often (not so much now that everyone has a cell phone) when someone asked to use the phone, it was worth the admission price to see them contemplate how to use the dial.


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.
 
Posts: 6021 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
quote:
osteosarchæmatosplanchnochondroneuromuelous; osseocarnisanguineoviscericartilaginonervomedullary

Wow, I can't wait to get to the os in the OEDILF. Wink
 
Posts: 23317 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Proofreader
posted Hide Post
I won't WS that!


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.
 
Posts: 6021 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  The Vocabulary Forum    Miscellaneous Words

Copyright © 2002-12