Sunday, January 13, 2008

What's in a Name?

Ouch! Sue had a nasty fall at work. That's her story and she's sticking to it.

Don demonstrates his version of the accident.

We had some interesting vocabulary discourse today. The word for today, gentle readers, is something we enjoy each morning at Sam's:
  • raillery \RAY-luh-ree\, noun:1. Good-humored banter or teasing. 2. An instance of good-humored teasing; a jest.
    For example, I moved from one knot of people to another, surrounded by a kind of envious respect because of Sophie's interest in me, although subjected to a certain mordant raillery from some of this witty company.-- Peter Brooks,
    World Elsewhere



  • ruth, noun :1.compassion for the misery of another 2 : sorrow for one's own faults. So we learned that "ruthful", to be filled with compassion, is indeed a word that we have never heard in conversation. But we have all heard "ruthless", to act without compassion, frequently. This is a sad statement about the human condition.



  • This made Don wonder whether "youthless" existed as the opposite of "youthful", but alas, it is not a word - yet. Perhaps if we all start describing Don himself as "youthless", we can get the word accepted into common usage.



  • Now this triggered the thought in Bill that his wife has frequently called him "useless", as in "you useless .......", but has never called him " useful". Bill , your challenge for the week is to get your wife to describe you as "useful" at least once.



  • Then we discussed that "regardless" and "irregardless" have the same meaning. "Irregardless" originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that "there is no such word." There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.



  • We also learned middle names: Susan Jean, Jean Ann, Gladys Mae, Patricia Ann, Jo Ann. Gladys said they named thier first daughter, Jacqueline, after Jack, whose real name is actually "Jacques". Jack said his name is pronounced "Jock" and that his middle name is "Strap"! Gladys recalled once being in class at work, and having to get up and say her last name . The assignment was to link her last name to a visual to help others recall her name. She agonized over this since her last name is "Tittsworth" , visuals not needed. The group then speculated whether this was synonymous to "Tittsful" .



  • The next word discussed was "woe". a condition of deep suffering from misfortune, affliction, or grief . It turns out that one can be "woeful", but one cannot be "woeless". Use of the word "Tittsful" made Don recall that he had been told "Whoa" on many of his dates, bringing woe to himself. Now I am curious whether the English language contains many more words to describe misery than joy.



  • This triggered Bill to remember that he had been told that certain acts may cause blindness, so he did them just until he had to wear glasses.



  • Don wondered if "yo" is becoming an accepted word, as in "Yo have a good time", equivalent to "Y'all" as used in the South. While that use of "yo" is not recognized, "yo" is already in the dictionary as used to call attention, to indicate attentiveness, or to express affirmation. Yo!



  • This led to Doug noting that when he refs a game (oops, turns out "ref" is recognized as a noun meaning "referee", but not as a verb meaning "to referee"), the kids now say "My bad" to mean "My mistake" or "Sorry". They also say "Psych" to mean "I'm kidding" .



  • I asked my middle schooler for the current slang in class, and she reports that kids use the letters for text messaging verbally. Here are some examples: TTYL means Talk To You Later , OMG means Oh my God, BFF means Best Friends Forever, JK means Just Kidding, GTG means Got To Go, and LOL means Laugh Out Loud.


  • Yo, everyone, GTG!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

some days it pays to get to sams later than normal, glenn

Alicia Mildred said...

I had friends over for lunch Sunday and Malesbian got discussed then too. Although Malessuse ( male and massuese ) was considered more ideal.

John said...

After seeing that picture of Sue all battered and bruised, I thought for sure she had started taking the MTA bus to work and had tried to sit down.

Best bumper sticker I've seen this week:

" VOTE FOR MONICA LEWINSKY'S X-BOYFRIEND'S WIFE FOR PRESIDENT"