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A new competition... & R.E. WINS!!! Login/Join
 
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Picture of C J Strolin
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During last week's chat, one of the few of this past year I've been able to be part of, we had what I considered an interesting competition. The question - How many words of at least two syllables can you think of where "U" is the only vowel present?

I kicked it off with muu-muu and then went copmpletely brain dead and couldn't come up with anything further. R.E. completely ran away with this thing with Shufitz, I think, coming in a not too close second. Other words included tutu, lulu, suburb, ruckus, Suburu, (a proper name, but what the heck) hubbub and others.

My problem now is that, thinking I could One-Look a complete list later, I didn't jot down the others. Now I find out that One-Look doesn't work this way (and, really, why should it?) so I'm temporarily out of luck. This is an interesting question that I would like to bring up in other groups of friends who, like us, are mildly obsessed with the English language and No, I do not intend to take credit for everyone else's gray matter.

So, what to do? Well, there's nothing wrong with posing the question again here especially for those Wordcrafters who couldn't chat last Saturday. So what do you say we give non-chatters a 3-day head start, at least on the words we've already covered assuming, unlike me, you can remember them.

And for the rest? Here's a goodie: I've since sprung this poser on my daughter and while she didn't do nearly as well as most of the rest of you, I did come up with another word myself and, not to brag, it's truly an odd one in that while it does have two syllables and there are no non-U vowels, there is in fact only one "U" in the entire word! Is that bizarre?!

So let me throw that one to the group - What 2-syllable word contains one "U" and no other vowels??? (Hint: Yes, it's a bit of a trick answer and Kalleh probably won't like it. If anyone nails this one, my money is on jheem.) (Another hint: The word is a noun and is something I have, in the past, been accused of being.)
 
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Richard had a couple of three-syllable words, which I'll give him the honor of presenting. jheem had another, which I can't recall, and I had ubuntu.

Here are some further: hush-hush, unfurl, uncut, unhurt (thanks, Kalleh), unsung, humus, upchuck, sun-up
 
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I should have mentioned that we've discussed the "vowelness" of the letter "Y" in the past. I think there was some disagreement but the bottom line as I was always taught (back when Lincoln was in office) is that if it makes for a syllable (another huge discussion) it's a vowel. If not, no. So the "Y" in "reply" and "fly" are both vowels while the "Y" in "boy" is not. So the word is not "trusty" or "crusty" or whatever.


To make it simple, there's no "Y" in my word.
 
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Here's another one that I didn't think of at the time of the chat - Uluru. This is the Aboriginal name for what the Australians used to call Ayers Rock.


Richard English
 
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I mentioned usufruct, though at first I could only remember its Latin form ususfructus. Also, uhuru, the Kiswahili word for 'freedom (from slavery)'.
 
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On y's vowelness. When discussing vowels, you're talking sounds, not writing. In English, the suffix -y represents a vowel a high front unrounded vowel /i/. {y} can also represent the semi-vowel (or palatal approximant) /j/ as in yes /'jEs/. This sounds sometimes is not written: e.g., universe /'junIvErs/.
 
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In Saturday's chat, jheem suggested the Bantu word for person (I think it was "mtu" but once again I neglected to jot it down) as the answer to the two-syllables-only-one-U-and-no-other-vowels word question I posed a while back. Excellent strategy but, no, sorry, no cigar. The word is both English and very commonly heard although, come to think of it, when you hear it, commonly or otherwise, you hear a second "U." (heh, heh...)

I'll post the answer within a day or two to allow Kalleh to start complaining. One more hint for those of us who made it up on the chatroom this time (though that seemed to include most of us): The word I have in mind is directly connected with one of the primary topics of conversation we engaged in.

And one last hint: That topic was not beer!
 
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Having tried to find this word, CJ, why do I think my doilies will be dusted when I hear it?! Wink Razz
 
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Answer will be up tomorrow.

Kalleh, standby with your Endust.
 
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Kalleh: CJ, why do I think my doilies will be dusted when I hear it?!
CJ: Kalleh, standby with your Endust.

And prepare for a dustup. Wink
 
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Kalleh, standby with your Endust.

Um-hmm!

I win!
 
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mugwump, ruckus, and tumult.

(Oops! We already have "ruckus".)
 
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I can't see mucus having been mentioned before.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you...


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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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
Um-hmm!

I win!

No, sorry, actually you don't. Nice try, though.

Dictionary.com doesn't recognize "um-hmm" and suggests that maybe you mean "um hmm" without the hyphen which, of course, would make it two words. Oddly though, I looked up "um hmm" and they don't recognize that either.

So. What is the English word which:
1. Has two syllables,
2. One "U,"
3. No other vowels,
4. Has been occasionally used to describe yours truly,
5. Can be heard but not seen to have a second "U" (this clue was the biggie) and
6. Was related to a topic of last Saturday's chat??

Drumroll please...

The word is F*ck-up!


A sidenote: Did you know that dust can explode? It comes from one speck of dust igniting somehow and then setting off a series of tiny ignitions in a rapid chain reaction. Happens a lot in grain silos.

(Maybe someone had better go check on Kalleh.)
 
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Eyewitnesses report that the nervous would-be robber showed a pistol to the people in the bank and shouted, "Okay you motherstickers, this is a f*ck-up!" Big Grin
 
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F*ck-up!

HONK!

'Tisn't in Dictionary.com, schweetie! Big Grin
 
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Quote "...A sidenote: Did you know that dust can explode?..."

Any compound or element that can combine with oxygen will explode if it is pulverised sufficiently.

Steel bars won't burn; steel wool burns well; finely ground steel dust ignites spontaneusly.

This is a physical cause creating a chemical reaction; the smaller the particles the greater the surface area as a proportion of the volume and the greater the area in direct contact with oxygen.

There have been many cases of dust explosions destroying buildings - coal and flour dust in particular.


Richard English
 
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Kalleh,

You're right.

"F*uck-up" isn't in dictionary.com

I spelled it wrong.

I should have written "fuck-up"

By the way, Schweetie, "epicaricacy" is also missing from dictionary.com.

Should we give you a HONK when you use it ??? Eek Roll Eyes Big Grin
 
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Just putting my two cents in

...but I thought * _was_ a vowel. Any of several, in fact... [mock-innocence-e]

(PS. Now the date of editing seems to have been corrected, but who's this "<>" character? I don't see any sech person registered...)
 
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Hold yer honker, Kalleh!

"F*ck-up" IS in Dictionary.com. Just look under "Fuck-up." The version with the asterisk is simply an alternative, yet wholly acceptable, spelling of the word. Similarly, "bring" is in the dictionary of course but "Bring," with a capital "B," is not.

I'm right.
You come in a close second. (I'm feeling gracious)
So HA!! (but not that gracious)
 
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CJ:
quote:
What is the English word which: 1. Has two syllables, 2. One "U," 3. No other vowels, 4. Has been occasionally used to describe yours truly, 5. Can be heard but not seen to have a second "U" (this clue was the biggie) and 6. Was related to a topic of last Saturday's chat??
The word is F*ck-up!
and
quote:
Hold yer honker, Kalleh! "F*ck-up" IS in Dictionary.com. Just look under "Fuck-up.
H O N K ! ! !

Sorry, CJ, but 'f*ck-up' isn't in dictionary.com, and neither is "fuck-up". The former gives no hit; the latter 'hits' but recognizes that you've made a typo, and it leads you to the actual word, 'fuckup' (no hyphen).

In short, 'fuck-up' isn't in dictionary.com (although it is in Cambridge), but 'fuckup' is.

And though it's a perfectly good "2-syllable-no-vowels-except-u" word, it doesn't meet requirement #5 in CJ's test, his requirement that only one of the two visible u's is audible.

So once again, CJ: H O N K ! ! ! RazzRazzRazz Wink Big Grin

This message has been edited. Last edited by: shufitz,
 
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I spelled it wrong.
Jerry, I wasn't referring to you when I pointed out that CJ's supposed winning word isn't in dictionary.com...I was referring to CJ. We all try to come up with the word (and, I still think I win with "umhmmm"), and then the answer is some non-word with one honk! letter. Of course, Shu and I are going to be in Oxford next week, so we will check with the editors of OED to see if in fact CJ is correct. Roll Eyes Razz

As for "schweetie," Jerry, I was referring to CJ, of course. And, I know it's not a word, but I was inspired by the recent thread with Yiddish words. In fact, I have been known to call my hubs "Schweetz." Smile
 
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It took me a while to find this little recalled gem. Decide for yourself what vowel is to be inserted.

Dll hmdrm mrmrs lll, bt hbbb stns,
Lclls snffs p msk, mndngs shns.
Pss prrs, bds brst, bcks btt, lck trns p trmps;
Bt fll cps, hrtfl, spr p njst thmps.

For the answer, paint over the blank space below.
Dull humdrum murmurs lull, but hubbub stuns,
Lucullus snuffs up musk, mundungus shuns.
Puss purrs, buds burst, bucks butt, luck turns up trumps;
But full cups, hurtful, spur up unjust thumps.
 
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