Archive for the ‘language’ Tag

05/07/2022 Word Play   Leave a comment

The title of the post tells you everything you need to know. I love wordplay, making puns, finding palindromes, and using words that are rarely heard anymore. Word play can be fun and here are a few fun facts for your files.

  • Do you know how to tell the difference between morons, imbeciles, and Idiots? Morons – IQ 51 to 70, Imbeciles – IQ 26 to 50, and Idiots – IQ 0-25.
  • The words tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous are the only four words in the modern English language that end in “dous”.
  • There are no words that rhyme with orange.
  • If “off” means to deactivate, what happens when the alarm goes off?
  • Dr. Seuss is credited with the first use of the word “nerd” in print, from his 1950 book If I Ran the Zoo.
  • The word “Mountweazels” concerns spurious entries or fake words used to catch copyright cheaters.
  • The term “Tattarrattat” was coined by James Joyce in his novel Ulysses for a knock on the door. It also happens to be the longest palindrome in the Oxford English Dictionary.
  • “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep is sick” is said to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language.
  • These six words have no accepted singular forms. Pajamas, Shorts, Jeans, Tights, Trousers, and Glasses.
  • “Floccinaucinihilipilification” is the longest real word (29 letters) in the Oxford English Dictionary.

I’ll keep searching for more of these and as I find them, I’ll post them. Language can be fun in so many ways. How cool is it to use the language properly to insult some clueless person who insists on irritating you and them not realizing what you meant.


11-13-2013 Acronym Answers   1 comment

I made the assumption that most of you would know most of the acronyms used in yesterdays post.  On the side chance that I’m wrong I’ve decided to list each one with their full title in the order as they appeared yesterday. I’m sure there will be a few surprises for you or at least I hope there will.   Here they are.

LOL – Laugh Out Loud
OMG – Oh My God
STAT – An abbreviation of the Latin statim, "Immediately".
ASAP – As Soon As Possible
KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid
UNIVAC – UNIVersal Automatic Computer
NABISCO – NAtional BIScuit COmpany
NECCO – New England Confectionary Company
WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get
MS-DOS – MicroSoft – Disk Operating System
DEF-CON – DEFense CONdition
NORAD – NORth American Air Defense Command
ZIP – Zone Improvement Plan
OSHA – Office of Special Housing Assistance
NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization
RADAR – RAdio Detection And Ranging
SCUBA – Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
SCUD – Subsonic Cruise Unarmed Decoy
WAC – Women’s Army Corp
AWOL – Absent With Out Leave
SAC – Strategic Air Command
SEALS – SEa-Air-Land UnitS
SALT – Strategic  Arms Limitation Talks
SNAFU – Situation Normal All Fucked Up
SONAR – SOund Navigation And Ranging
AWACS – Airborne Warning And Control System
TNT – TriNitroToluene  
HUD – Housing and Urban Development
SSN – Social Security Number
DOB – Date Of Birth
GPA – Grade Point Average
NOW – National Organization of Women
UNESCO – United Nations Educational Scientific  and Cultural Org.
UNICEF – UNIted Nations Children’s Emergency Fund
OVER – Over to You
OUT – End Transmission
WILCO – WIll COmply
ER – Emergency Room
ICU – Intensive Care Unit
DNA – Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid
RNA – RiboNucleic Acid
DOA – Date Of Arrival
ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival
EST – Eastern Standard Time
INTERPOL – INTERnational Criminal POLice Organization
NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard
NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration
SONAR – SOund Navigation And Ranging
TASER – Tele-Active Shock Electronic Repulsion
LASER – Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation
CANOLA – CANada Oil, Low Acid
TV – TeleVision
DVD – Dissociated Vertical Deviation
DOA – Dead On Arrival
OMFG – Oh My Fucking God

11-12-2013 Acronyms Are Killing Me   2 comments

What possesses we humans with the need to continuously shorten our language.  LOL, OMG, and others were created primarily because of Twitter and other social networks. 140 characters leave very little space for actual coherent thoughts.  I’d like to take you back a few years to when this craziness really got rolling.  STAT and ASAP are two oldies I learned during hospital visits to see my mother at age 10 or 12 and here are a few more. 

The list is endless but this countries businesses are as responsible for many of the more ridiculous acronyms as anyone.  You have  KISS, UNIVAC, NABISCO, NECCO, WYSIWYG, and MS-DOS just to name a few.  Do you know what they all mean?  I’ll just bet you don’t.

Never let it be said that the government didn’t help the cause.  They’re the worst especially in the armed services.  DEFCON, NORAD, ZIP code, OSHA, NATO, RADAR, SCUBA, SCUD, WAC, AWOL, SAC, SEALS, and literally thousands of others. Anyone whose ever had the opportunity to speak to someone who works in the Pentagon needs an accomplished translator who is trained in Gov-Speak.  SALT, SNAFU, SONAR, AWACS, TNT, and the endless list continues.

You could work for HUD but not before they check your SSN, DOB, and GPA.  On your off time you could join NOW, UNESCO, UNICEF, or get bogged down with other WOMBAT stuff.

Take a flight, OVER, OUT,  ROGER, and WILCO.  Get sick and be subjected to an MRI or EKG. You could end up in the ER or ICU for more serious matters.

You can make yourself crazy just trying to keep up with the ever changing acronyms.  I guess this society is in such a hurry to do everything we don’t have time to say any more complete words than necessary. Before you know it we won’t have a language anymore, we’ll just communicate with nothing but acronyms.  That will be a very sad day. George Orwell was a few years behind the times in many of his predictions in 1984 but some still ring true today.

Here are a few more for your edification:  DNA, RNA, DOA, ETA, EST, INTERPOL, NIMBY, NASA, SONAR, TASER, LASER, and even CANOLA oil.  TV, DVD, DOA, and OMFG.  I’ve got to stop this foolishness immediately, it’s making me crazier than usual. I’ll be happy to supply a list tomorrow of the acronyms used in this posting and we’ll see just how many you know or think you know.

08-28-2013   Leave a comment

Football Season is fast approaching and for those of you who are fanatical, you’re probably already in a serious state of FAN (Football Arousal Narcosis).  You find yourself sexually aroused by wide screen HD televisions, satellite NFL packages, and the occasional busty cheerleaders. I must warn you that you’re playing with fire.  Sometime in January when the end of the season is approaching and the withdrawal starts setting in you may find yourself becoming sexually attracted to Terry Bradshaw.  If that happens proceed directly to rehab, do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred dollars.

I’m not a sports fanatic in any way, shape, or form.  The only sports I watch religiously are as many games of the Little League World Series as I can. Those games seem more real and genuine to me than watching a bunch of grown men spending more than three hours to play nine innings of baseball for a few million dollars a year and all the steroid and drug enhancements they can consume.  This time of the year is when the pregame and postgame analysis programs kidnap prime time TV and fill the airways with an ungodly number of continuous sports metaphors and clichés.  It makes me just a little crazy.

Unfortunately those metaphors have slowly and insidiously made their way into our daily language.  If you didn’t already know that, WAKE UP.  We have "ballpark figures", "drop back and punt", and "going the whole nine yards". It’s also a sprint, a boxing match, even a demolition derby. It has leaders and trailers, boasts knockout punches, and will go down to the wire, the buzzer, or the final whistle.” Check these out:

“I was blind-sided by all the talk about the mortgage and someone else bought the house before me.”

“Critics of President Obama used bump and run tactics to impede the implementation of a Republican directive.”

“When Tom retired Larry carried the ball for the next 9 months and the project was completed.”

“If we get the new machinery, we will be dancing in the zone in September.”

‘”Paul fumbled the sale when he failed to return the client’s call.”

“The Democrats game plan totally revolved around the promise of jobs.”

“The lawyers decided to settle after a brief huddle.”

“After John’s failure to win the building contract, his colleagues only made things worse with their Monday morning quarterbacking.

“President Obama caves in over and over again. He punts on first down.” 

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg.  As we progress through the season begin listening carefully to the everyday newscasters, pundits, and anyone else speaking to you from your television screen.  You’ll be absolutely amazed.


08-19-2013   Leave a comment

I was standing in a line at a nearby Subway Shop yesterday and listened to three young ladies chitchatting about this and that almost nonstop.  They discussed a few friends, made a derogatory comment or two about a certain person they disliked, and then complained about starting school in a week or two. As I stood in line behind them I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation intermixed with the receiving and sending of text messages from other friends.

I had to smile thinking how different things are these days for our younger generations.  The one thing that held my interest today was their use or misuse of the language.  Almost every child learns early on how to have a little fun at the expense of the adults in their life. These newer generations have adopted the never-ending use of the word "Like".  As I stood in that long line behind these young girls I was able to count no less than twenty-five uses of the word "Like".  It actually made me grin a little.

I could make fun of them or quote some of their silly comments but that isn’t at all what I was thinking at the time.  I agree that their use of the word was cute and possibly funny but it seemed to bother the older women standing to my left a great deal more than it did me. She was shuffling her feet and rolling her eyes the entire time which I’m sure was the effect they were shooting for.  Growing up these days still requires those developing children to irritate the older generations just enough to show them their newly found desire for independence.  It’s where they begin to carve out their own niche as soon-to-be adults and push and shove to take their place with the rest of us.  They were giggling and chatting like kids do and it was fun to watch.

Every generation has certain words and phrases they over-use and I have no idea how that happens with almost every generation.  When I was growing up the word "Okay" was overused constantly and later “Cool” was the word of choice.  After a little research I discovered the following information on the word "Okay" since that was my generation’s word choice.

As tends to be the case with the origins of sayings or words, the starting point of OK is a matter of contention. Many explanations have been offered and here are three samples of which none are believable.

  • The wood out of which British ships were built, oak, which is a durable wood gave rise to the saying that such wood was “oak-a”.
  • US military records stating that there were no casualties – that is, zero killed (OK).
  • The ancient Greek schooling practice of marking the letters on exceptional papers, indicating that they were ola kala (literally “it is good”).

* * *

The most favored derivation, however, probably because it is supported by documentary evidence, is that the word OK stems from a phrase used in the 19th century. It was a fad during the 1830’s in Boston for newspapers to use comical expressions such as KY for “know yuse”, OW for “oll wright”, NS for “nuff said”, and notably, OK for “oll korrect”. OK became more popular in 1840 when the supporters of the Democratic politician, Martin Van Buren formed the OK Club. In this case, the letters stood for “Old Kinderhook” (Kinderhook, New York being Van Buren’s place of birth), and it’s thought that it was through this use of the letters that brought OK into mainstream usage.

* * *

I’m sure that in the day I was able to make my parents cringe every time I used the term “OK” sarcastically just as “Like and Whatever” are accomplishing these days.   Rule #1 for kids: As always, find an adult’s annoyance button and then push it over and over again.  I wonder what the next generation will come up in a few years to irritate these three young ladies.  That’s makes me grin too!

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