’22 A To Z Challenge – C

 

 

I am green, but not with envy, when I can Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Christian Apologists sometimes ask, even if the claims were false, what is the problem with believing “If it’s not hurting anyone?”  A YouTuber recently held up a newspaper headline – “Woman scammed of $160,000 by mother/daughter fortune tellers who promised to rid her of demons.”  There is no ‘not hurting anyone!’

Anyone who believes one thing without good reason, has a mental predisposition to believe other false claims.  Her Christianity had convinced her that angels and demons existed, and she paid the price.  That brings me, highly incensed, to the word

Crucible

a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures.
a severe, searching test or trial.

Arthur Miller wrote a book titled “The Crucible.”  It was a rebuke against McCarthyism in the early 1950s, disguised as a novel about the Salem Witch Trials.  There was only one death attributed to McCarthyism, a wrongfully-accused Senator who committed suicide.  Scores of careers and lives were ruined.  In Salem, 24 people died.  19 innocent women were hanged.  4 more died from appalling jail conditions, and one man was tortured to death – all because of lies and fake news, gullibly believed.

Lightening up just a bit, I’m going to recycle a story about a friend who also reused  and recycled by melting down beverage cans, and broken lawn furniture and storm doors in small crucibles which he purchased online, to produce little aluminum hexagons that he used to pave a portion of his back yard, around the barbecue pit.

That whine which you may have heard when you arrived, was not a quad-copter drone, providing Neighborhood Watch security.  That was my mind desperately trying to grind out refills for my random facts posts.  We’ll see how well I do.  Y’all come back now, ya hear.   😎

I Cant Rely On Kindle

I continue to hold my love of dead-tree versions of books, if only because I can get many of them for free, from the Library – and often in LARGE PRINTTo you, with failing eyes, we throw – something you may more easily read.  I am becoming more habituated and inured to the Kindle book variants, especially since a couple of authors, whose series I follow, publish only electronically.

One of the benefits to Kindle is that, when the writer uses an esoteric or unfamiliar word, I need only poke the screen to get a dictionary meaning.  I had hoped that the meaning of every word used in each book would be available, but the dictionary file is on-board, not accessed on the internet.  That hope was dashed, repeatedly, by a recent book.

I read, I knew by the cant of his head, so I poked CANT in the eye – actually, in the A.  I got back, an expression of enthusiasm for high ideals – a sermon or extended oration.  Neither of those seemed to fill the bill, so I took a taxi over to Dictionary.com, which told me that my ‘cant’ meant, a salient angle – a slanted or tilting position.

On the next page, They had not hung the celebratory bunting.  Kindle only offered me two small, seed-eating birds, one European, one American.  My online dictionary was far more generous.  First it told me that bunting was a baseball play, where a pitched ball is gently returned by a stationary bat, or, it could be a hooded sleeping garment for infants (also, bunting bag).  Finally, it admitted that bunting was patriotic and festive decorations made from coarse cloth, or from paper, usually in the form of draperies, wide streamers, etc., in the colors of the national flag.  That’s the one I needed.  Busy word!

The story said, “Fashion was becoming important.  Lacing emphasized waists, and skirts flared out with gores.”  I poked the word ‘gores,’ and got, Gore, Al, Vice-President of the United States.  It’s a good thing they weren’t playing cards, or I’d have been told that trump was the President.  Their boat-launching site was a couple of klicks past the fort.  I should have known better.  Kindle claimed that klicks meant the same as clicks.  Now see here, Kindle, see also: slang, (mainly) military, diminutive of kilometers.

At last, the literary bad guy, returned to his hant.  When I prodded Kindle, it told me that Han was a Chinese river, or a dynasty from 206 B C to 220 A D.  Interesting, but that’s not even the same word.  Dictionary.com only told me that hant was the Scottish form of the verb – to haunt.  I had to go further afield for this one.

I eventually found that, from that Scottish verb form, came the noun which means, an often light-duty structure, temporarily or intermittently occupied, such as a party tent, duck blind or fishing hut.  This all qualifies as an episode of Things I Learned While Researching Other Things.

I am surprised that I was never asked, Did you mean can’t?  I can’t wait to see what I publish in a couple of days.  Are you as excited as I am?  😉

TILWROT III

In Search Of A Name

I was reading a Science Fiction book that began with a Space Navy shipwreck.  After her husband dies, the group of survivors is led by a broadly knowledgeable and adaptable woman with the Italian-ish name of Buccari.  I mentally pronounced it boo-kar-ee, until the author had one of her compatriots address her as, “Hey, Booch.”  I was reminded that in Italian words/names like bocce and Puccini with double C’s, they are pronounced as CH, so she was boo-char-ee.

Now I was curious.  Beginning with The DaVinci Code, I realized that authors often hide Easter Eggs in the background of their books.  What does the name mean??  Whatever it is, there’s a bunch of them, because the final I indicates a plural.  Translation programs just shrugged and walked away.  Google and Bing and friends, didn’t do any better, although one admitted that it was a surname, but the 286,532nd most/least common one.

Down at the bottom of the page, the note said, People who ask about Buccari also research Buccari fiasco navale Croazien.  Clicking on that delivered an article, all in Italian.  I fed the first section back into the translation program.

Apparently, just at the end of World War II, a division of the Italian navy decided to shell the Croatian city of Bakar, because it had been used by the Italians as a concentration camp.  Based on the plural of “people from the city of Bakar,” the Italian name for it, and anyone from it, is Buccari.

Bakar, in Croatian, means ‘copper,’ and our heroine’s head is adorned with luxurious, Italian, copper-red tresses.  The author brought the uncommon name completely around in a circle.

***

The great-grandson is approaching his first birthday.  While a little slow starting, he is developing a nice head of Italian-red hair.  He and his parents will be joining us for a belated Easter/birthday celebration this Sunday.  I’ll bet that a photo or two of him will sneak its way into a blog-post before the end of the month.  😀

Tell Me If You’ve Heard This One – VI

Something old, something new,
something borrowed, something blue

BINGE-WATCH (verb)
To watch (multiple videos, episodes of a TV show, etc.) in one sitting, or over a short period of time
Due to COVID19, there’s been a shit-ton of this going on over the last two years.  Netflix may end up ruling the planet.

CHIASMUS (noun) Rhetoric
a reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases, as in
“He went to the country, to the town went she.”

DECATHECT (verb) 1930-35
To withdraw one’s feelings of attachment from (a person, idea, or object), as in anticipation of a future loss
from de-cathexis, the investment of emotional significance in an activity, object, or idea.
He thought it best to decathect from his cherished toy, since he would soon have to sell it.

EPISTEMIC (adjective)
of or relating to knowledge or the conditions for acquiring it
An example of something epistemic is a journey to discover new sources of truth.

FOREMOTHER (noun)
A female ancestor
Virginia Woolf was the foremother of writers like Joan Didion.

HORSEFEATHERS (noun)
Something not worth considering
This usage refers to something which does not, and perhaps cannot, exist – like feathers on a horse.  In the MASH TV show, Colonel Potter’s usage of the term horse-pucky, is a euphemism for the round, puck-like material often found on the ground behind a horse.

INFIRMARY (noun)
A place (as in a school or prison) where sick or injured individuals receive care and treatment
A large medical facility
Like the forgotten roots of dis-ease, this word shows that it is used by those who are infirm.

FLOTSAM (noun)
the part of the wreckage of a ship and its cargo found floating on the water
material or refuse floating on water.
useless or unimportant items; odds and ends.

JETSAM (noun)
Goods cast overboard deliberately, as to lighten a vessel or improve its stability in an emergency, which sink where jettisoned or are washed ashore

LAGAN (noun) Law
anything sunk in the sea, but attached to a buoy or the like so that it may be recovered.

MAJORDOMO (noun)
A man in charge of a great household, as that of a sovereign, a chief steward
a steward or butler
a person who makes arrangements for another
Alfred was Bruce Wayne/Batman’s majordomo.
In the TV show, Magnum PI, Higgins was ostensibly the majordomo for the author, Robin Masters.  His name comes from the Irish Gaelic uiginn, meaning Viking.

MARMOT (noun)
Any bushy-tailed, stocky rodent of the genus Marmota, such as the groundhog
In 2021, Wiarton Willy, Ontario’s albino groundhog equivalent to Punxatawney Phil, died before Groundhog Day.  Somehow his handlers failed to mention that fact until late November.  They may still be looking for a replacement – for all the difference it makes.

MUFTI (noun)
Civilian clothes, in contrast with military or other uniforms, or as worn by a person who usually wears a uniform
A Muslim jurist, expert in the religious law
The Army agent behind enemy lines, tried to blend in, disguised in mufti.

SAGGITATE (adjective)
shaped like an arrowhead
Sagittarius, the name of the astrological sign of The Archer, the bowman, doesn’t actually refer to the bow, or the man, but to the arrow which is launched – for all the difference it makes.

STARDUST (noun) alternate definition
A naively romantic quality
There was stardust in her eyes every time her beloved entered the room.
Astrophysicist, Carl Sagan said, “We are all stardust.”  He meant, literally, that we are composed of heavier atoms which were produced when stars die and go (super)nova.

So, our vocabularies are expanding to match our waistlines.  I’ll be dropping some more great words in a couple of days, in a vain attempt to lose weight.   😉

To Put It Another Way – II

Where, oh where did it all go wrong??  😕  I don’t know about all, but here are a few examples of Many a slip, twixt the ear and the lip.   😯

Pros
It seamingly permeates all of society – You seemingly don’t know one word from the other.

Leaving them so depended on others – That is dependent on knowing the correct word

The powerful engine enabled verticle takeoff – That’s just straight-up wrong.

They’d sell corpses to medical schools for extra mullah. – If they’d had a little extra moolah, they could have hired someone to teach them that a mullah is a Muslim teacher/priest.

A wisened runner – who should have wisened up to the fact the correct word, is wizened.

To shoe away pests at a campfire – now mosquitoes get free footwear as we shoo them away.

To unravel them aboard his dingy – He’s a bit dingy, if he doesn’t know it’s a dinghy

A car ran into a power pole guide-wire – Let me guide you to the phrase guy-wire.

Under the guides of friendship – Under the guise of correct usage, try again.

Computer litearate clerk needed – More than they realize.

He wrote the forward for the book – Looking back, he wrote the foreword.

The way ahead is wrought with danger – and it is fraught with pretentious misusage.

It would be wise to stick upon them – But I’d stock up on them

Black cats got a bad wrapwrap up that mistake and listen to some bad rap.

The idea sprung from the fact – I quickly sprang to correct that.

Technology could breach the gap – Shouldn’t it bridge the gap…. which is already a breach?

The plane was in the throws of destruction – I throws out the suggestion to use throes.

Amateurs

What word on this list reasonates with you? – The word resonates would, if it were there.

A copying mechanism to deal with problems – I’m not coping well with that spelling.

I conquer with Brian – You might conquer, if you were to concur.

It wreaks of scamming – Actually, it reeks of misusage.

I was working, went a high-pitched squeal…. – But when did it happen?

Should evoke a sign of relief from thinking people – I’m thinking that it should be a sigh of relief.

A starring wheel replacement – I’m steering you away from that.

A brain chokeful of grey cells – I choked, yelling that it was chock-full.

I hardly took a breath during my trade – which did not include the word tirade.

Hubby left a stinky thrown in the bathroom – I was thrown, until I realized she meant throne.

Therefor, he was wrong – but, Therefore is right

As I cantor up 9th Ave. – a Jewish singer tells me that it is canter.

It’s something we continue to carey with us – Drew says that it’s spelled carry.

The director when to the censor – I went to the Spellchecker.

Bible says not to ware mixed fabrics – so beware what you wear.

New Arkansas law to target instain mother who kill thier babbys.
Everything you’ve ever needed to know about rednecks.

A rouge motorhome ventured onto the track – That’s a huge mistake – both ways.

It chucks it up to illusion – I chalk it up to misusage.

She was ready to throw in the tile – Even before I wiped it with a towel.

He told a bold-faced lie – People with print programs haven’t heard of bald-faced lies

’21 A To Z Challenge – V Twofer

’21 Reading Challenge
Vanquished

I read somewhere…. That I read somewhere.  In a vain attempt to brag (Are there any other kinds??!) about all my free time in retirement, I present a rogues’ gallery of the books I read last year.


Gregg Loomis – The First Casualty

Tom Clancy’s series

Line of Sight


Oath of Office

Enemy Contact


Code of Honor


Lee Child – Blue Moon


Lee Child – The Sentinel

Gregg Hurwitz – Out of the Dark
Gregg Hurwitz – Hell Bent

Nick Petrie – Burning Bright
Nick Petrie – Light It Up
Nick Petrie – Tear It Down

Ilona Andrews – Sweep Of The Blade

Ilona Andrews – Sweep With Me

Ilona Andrews – Magic Steals

Ilona Andrews – Blood Heir

Steve Berry – The 14th Colony

Steve Berry – The Lost Order
Steve Berry – The Bishop’s Pawn

Raymond Khoury – The Templar Salvation

Mark Greaney – Gunmetal Grey
Mark Greaney – Agent in Place

Crawford Killian – The Empire of Time

Mark Greaney – Agent In Place

Eric Flint – The Course Of Empire

Mike Massa – River Of Night

Grant Blackwood – War Hawk

James Rollins – The Demon Crown

James Rollins – Crucible

H. Beam Piper – Paratime

H. Beam Piper – Lord Kalvan Of Otherwhen

Philip K. Dick – The Zap Gun

A.E. van Vogt – Masters Of Time

James S. A. Corey – Persepolis Rising

James S. A. Corey – Tiamat’s Wrath

John Brunner – Time Jump

John Brunner – Total Eclipse

Kenneth Bulmer – The Key To Venudine

Neal Stephenson – The Rise And Fall Of D.O.D.O.

Crawford Killian – Red Magic

Seth Andrews – Sacred Cows

Herman Melville – Bartleby The Scrivener
*
Edgar Allen Poe – The Cask of Amontillado

Mark Twain – Letters From The Earth

Ward Bowlby – A Canadian’s Travels To Egypt

Flash Fiction #262

PHOTO PROMPT© Ted Strutz

CANON LAW

…. But the Contessa’s brother is left-handed – I showed that in chapter III, when I had him defend Uncle Auggie from that footpad.

She can’t approach the Duke, because I had her in Milan when the robbery occurred.

I could have Rodrigo, the valet, carry the message, but I’ve already showed that Duke Milburn refuses to converse with other noble’s servants.

Could my cook tell his cook?

Writing this historical fiction isn’t as easy as it seemed.  I should have put up that story-board when Bob suggested it.

Where’s a really good Deus ex Machina, when I truly need one?

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

All The Languages Of The World

I am so glad that my blog-buddy, BrainRants made me aware of The Expanse series.  I have been reading the books and, not quite as quickly, watching the TV programs for several years.  It is a great epic series, not just because I love Sci-Fi, but because the writers provide tons of eclectic detail to flesh out the story arc, and the characters.

Two male writers, taking a cue from their mentor, George R. R. Martin – he of Game Of Thrones fame – and/or J. R. R. Tolkien, publish as James S. A. Corey, when neither of them is James, nor Corey.  As male authors, they have created at least four powerful, well-defined female characters.

The depth and breadth of their knowledge, which they work into the books is awe-inspiring – especially (for me) the linguistics.  Millions have gone into space, and many are mining the asteroid belt.  People move around on Earth, and the language where they migrate to slowly changes, but remains basically the same.

There was no Native Tongue in the Belt, so a new language, called Belta, has come into existence.  It includes some sign language, for folks encased in space suits, who can be seen but not heard.  The spoken language is mostly English, with additions and admixtures of American Spanish from Pittsburgh to Patagonia, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Maori, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, and more.

Every chapter brings examples of words and expressions that impress the Hell out of me, or drive me to dictionary or search-engine sites.  Remember, Belta is like Star Trek’s Klingon.  It is a non-existent language that these two are completely creating themselves.  The fact that I’m at least a year behind the avid fan readers, means that I sometimes reach a site where others have gone for explanations.

Recently, I hit four words on two pages that I needed to research.  One of the asteroids described, was not an asteroid, but rather, a collection of rocks with enough common gravity to hold them together, but not enough pressure to coalesce into a single unit.  Like a bag of giant marbles – without the bag.

The writers described it as a Duniyaret.  The Hindi word duniyah means ’world,’ and the Hindi word ret means ‘sand, or gravel.’  They had created a neologism in a foreign language, to describe this conglomeration of rocks.  A habitat had been created on the biggest chunk, by welding together, what were essentially steel shipping containers, at a slight angle to one another, to bend around the curve.  The authors called this “town”, Nakliye, a Turkish word that means ‘shipping.’

On the next page, I found a blazon – from heraldry, a patch or badge, often worn on lapel or sleeve, indicating owning or belonging, especially with good qualities.  When we affix such a marker, we use the slightly more-common word, emblazon.

The residents drank water that was hyper-distilled.  At first, I thought it might be like double-distilled whiskey, but the Hyper, in this case, refers to Hyperion, the Titan that the Greeks believed was the father of the sun.  They didn’t waste precious power, but used a large parabolic solar-collector, aimed at the distant sun.  I had trouble researching this term, because the search engines kept throwing up an American company named “Hyper Distillation,” which is not the same thing.

The UN Space Navy had an Admiral named Souther.  I was reminded of J. D. Souther, a singer/songwriter from Detroit, who influenced Glen Frey of The Eagles, to compose country-lite style.  I had assumed that the basis for the name was someone originally from the South of England – a southerner.  Imagine my surprise when I found that the name is occupational, coming from old English/old French soutere – a boot or shoe – therefore meaning a cobbler.

I have cobbled together a little more click-bait to lure you in.  Drop by in a couple of days, to see where my mind has gone without me.  😎  🌯

ROM

A blog-friend has asked me to read a book.
Okay.  I’ve got lots of experience; in fact, I’m reading three of them, right now.

Read Our Manuscript

She wants me to read Her book, Kevin: Murder Beneath The Pines.  Our fellow-blogger, the lovely KayJai, has published her third book, and wants me to read and review it.  I am honored and willing, if somewhat under-qualified.

This will be the sixth such book that I have read.  The first was for an author in Washington.  I did a terrible job, because I thought I knew what I was doing – but didn’t.  I have read four for BrainRants, who made it a lot easier, and more logical.  You can’t put colored pencil marks on a digital copy, so he sent all of his in a Word file with numbered lines.

Don’t ever attempt to do your own proof-reading.  Get someone else – preferably three other people.  When you read your own work, you will see what your mind expects to see, and errors that might irk readers can sneak through.

This book is not yet Great Literature.  She is still on a learning curve.  For what it is, the third attempt by a busy lady, it is a delightful little murder mystery, suitable to be discussed at a book club meeting, or a knitting circle.  It begins with a Dilbert-like glimpse at office politics, but soon devolves into a look at darkness, not only in the deep, piney woods, but in the hearts and souls of men.  Small-town characters have to learn to deal with big-city-type crime, and its after-effects on the survivors.

If you are writing, or thinking of writing a book, and need/want a Beta-reader, I am usually available.  My forte is the words, and usage, and construction, and punctuation.  I am not so insightful or helpful with plot, story arc or character development, although I often have some opinions.

Well, enough about me.  Now it’s your turn – to provide emotional support by returning soon to read my next post.

’21 A To Z Challenge – B

Back in the old days, you young whippersnappers, I occasionally published ‘Remember When’ posts, to pump up my older readers’ nostalgia, and show the younger ones what they may be fortunate to have missed.

This year, for the letter B, I’ve decided to rant and rave about the

BANDERSNATCH

an imaginary wild animal of fierce disposition.

a person of uncouth or unconventional habits, attitudes, etc., especially one considered a menace, nuisance, or the like.

The word was coined, with the first meaning, about 1855 by the Anglican Deacon, the Reverend Charles Dodgson, hiding his identity as the author Lewis Carroll.  Hide he should!  He wrote about fantastical, imaginary creatures, and strange words that didn’t exist.  In his Alice in Wonderland books, he has poor Alice eating magic mushrooms, and drinking absinth-like liquids which distort her perceptions and cause hallucinations, making her to seem to shrink and grow.  The good pastor was a drug fiend.

From the original meaning has come the more recent value, and much of it may be due to recreational drug use.  Nostalgiac and déjà vu terms for these people might include miscreant, or ruffian.  Today’s paper printed three Op-Ed letters, and they were all about people who litter, especially the community trails.

One woman says that she and her husband go out (properly masked) for walks together.  Each of them takes a store-issued plastic bag.  They don’t get a block away, before both are stuffed full of picked-up trash.  There are garbage pails each block, where the trail crosses a street, yet these lazy swine can’t wait even that long.  Some clean up after their dogs…. and then toss the compostable bags into the undergrowth.  Some of them hang up on bushes, making them look like Bizarro Christmas trees.

Forty years ago, one of the city’s mottos was, Kitchener – Klean As A Kitchen.  More recently, one of the local newspaper wags has suggested, Kitchener – Klean As A Kow-shed.  Spanking unruly children is no longer allowed, but I’d like to take a few of these Bandersnatches out behind the woodpile, and introduce their posteriors to a good length of flat maple.  Would you like to watch the YouTube video?  👿