O No – O Not

 

Once upon a time, in olden Greece, there lived two little vowels, almost identical twins.

Recently, I was watching videos…. Perhaps on a site I shouldn’t have been at.  😳

Attention!  Your computer has notified us that it has been infected by a very contagious virus.  You have been locked out so that we can contain it.  Please call the toll-free number listed below so that we can erase it and prevent further infection.  Failure to do so can result in a permanent shutdown, and loss of files and data.

Not that I’ve ever received such a notice.  😉

I watched a young man talking about realizing something about these two Greek vowels.  In English, there is only one letter ‘O,’ but it is pronounced in two ways.  There is the long O, like in the word No, and the short O, like in the word Not.

In Greek, there are two Os – Omega, and Omicron.  He had just become conscious of the fact that – the long O, the big O – was Omega, and the short O, the small O – was Omicron.  It’s so blindingly obvious…. after someone points it out to you.

He looked so familiar.  Who was this young man taking so much delight to explain such a minuscule linguistic detail about a foreign language, with such fervor?  My old eyes aren’t what they used to be, but I’m pretty sure it was me.

My next post, on the rapid increase of initialisms, will all be in English, despite the fact that there really is no such language.  FYI, LOL, LMAO, ROFL, FWIW, IDK, LY, TTYL.

Book Review #29

Constantly curious about what Theists believe, but more importantly, WHY, I recently took advantage of the offer of three free books of explanation.  One was an actual printed paperback, while the other two were pdf downloads.

The books:
What Time Is Purple?
Answering Atheism
Proof of God

The Authors:
Tom Hammond
A blogger who only identifies as A Bit Of Orange

The reviews:
Nothing new – Same-old, same-old!  They disappointed equally, and to the same degree as all previous similar publications.

The purple book was a tiny, but expensive artifact – thick, glossy cover, only 46 thick, glossy pages, illustrations.  A copy was mailed to me from Maryland, by a blogger who calls himself HillFaith (Good News for Congressional staff).

The author began by inviting us on a journey to discover Truth.  A little reading quickly showed that all he really wanted to do was to find, or fabricate, evidence that somehow made his beliefs and presuppositions appear to be true.  That is not the same thing!

Even his title shows his prejudice.  The very fact that someone could question his unsupported claims was so alien to his vigorously-held, religious worldview, that he found it as strange as asking, “What Time Is Purple?”  Again and again, he would make unfounded statements and claims, and be bewildered that others would not simply accept them.

Bitter Mr. Orange Rind was no different.  His biggest, and constant, complaint/claim was that those rascally Atheists, Agnostics and Dictionaries – would not go along with his definitions and descriptions, so that he could blow those strawmen away.  He wanted to know what the number 5 smelled like.  They must all read from the same script/prayer book.  From his own, homemade, definitions, he fabricates claims about Atheists like, “Also, most of them manage to confuse Islam with Catholicism and attack the one with descriptions of the other.”

Like a short row of dominoes, he set up six, sequential premises to prove God.  Premise 1: God must exist by necessity – therefore premise 2 – therefore premise 3 – therefore premise 4 – therefore premise 5 – therefore God exists.  If you begin your circular argument with an unfounded claim that God exists, of course you’ll end up with that as an unsupported conclusion.

If you start with the assumption that Hillary Clinton is running a child sex-trafficking ring out of the basement of a cheap pizza joint, of course you’ll prove that it’s tr….  Oh, wait.  That one could be investigated, and was proved false.  When I ran into Nietzsche, Adolph Hitler, Hillary Clinton, Democrats, and Atheists, all in the same sentence, I was sure of who and what he was.  He apparently named his Bible-thumping blog-site after his favorite superhero.

He wanted Atheists to admit that they couldn’t be absolutely, positively, 100% sure that no God exists, so that he could stick the thin edge of his Christian arguments in.  I find the likelihood of God/gods to be slightly less than the existence of a square circle, owned by a polygamous bachelor.  If he can produce one of those, I will help him locate and present his God.

He kept making blanket claims that, (All) Atheists say this, Atheists believe that, Atheists claim….  While some – a few confused, uneducated Atheists make unsupported statements, I have never, personally, encountered any Atheist who said what he implies that ALL Atheists do.  He writes that, By necessity, Atheists must be Nihilists, but when observed reality clearly contradicts his view, he merely inverts his claim, and insists that Atheists do not really exist.

My Dad told me the tale of the Ginchee Bird, which flies around in ever-decreasing circles, until it disappears up its own ass.  I wish some of these Apologists would disappear up their own asses.  They pull out enough shit.  There should be room.  Ah well, it was cheap entertainment.  All I learned was that they were both charter members of the Lying For Jesus Movement.

If they worked half as hard at proving their claims to be true, as they do to try to prove others wrong, they might not be quite so desperate, but my past history has shown that that result seems to be impossible. I think they know that, and don’t want to admit it – but that’s the same argument they use against Atheists.  Damn the counter-arguments!  Full assumption ahead.  😳

’22 A To Z Challenge – U

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What word or phrase – beginning with the letter U – will I choose as a theme, this time?

As the singer, Tom Jones says, It’s Not Unusual.  But then, can you really trust a man who was willing to lop off his last name, to take advantage of a movie presentation of an old, smutty novel, to help kick-start his career??  😕

Words in the dictionary, beginning with the letters X, Y, or Z, are not terribly plentiful.  Words beginning with U, seem a bit more abundant – until you realize that most of them are un-something – the negatives of a bunch of positive words.

I am willing – I positively revel – to be G.O.D. – the Grumpy Old Dude blogger, grumbling about this and that.  But I don’t want the entire, overarching theme of my website, to be negative.  I don’t mind bitching about certain foibles of society, but overall, I want it to be

UPBEAT

A musical term which has come to mean; optimistic, cheerful, happy

I am positive that Donald Trump, and many other politicians, are total, and complete ASSHOLES!  Perhaps we should try to choose political leaders who are UN-assholes….  Are there any??!  😳  Maybe we could issue a UKASEedict, order, directive, ruling, decree, fiat, proclamation, that no assholes are allowed.  Now that would be positive!

On my way out, I’d like to introduce you to my new, non-sequitur pet, an

URUBU

A Portuguese, vulture-like turkey buzzard.  Handsome little devil, isn’t he??!  😉

’22 A To Z Challenge – S

Of all my relations, I still like sex the best.  😉

Two vaguely-related prompts, equal one mediocre post.

I again, recently ran into some archaic words. Smite means to strike, to hit, to afflict or attack.  It’s a present-tense verb.  The past-tense form is smote.  They were both in common usage around 1600 AD, when the King James Bible was composed.
The Israelites did smite the Midianites.
Peter drew his sword and smote the chief priest’s slave
.

There was a lot of smiting and smoting going on back then.  We’ve come a long way since then – perhaps too far.  Now we’re not even supposed to raise our voice, or say anything that might offend or distress someone.

The first word that I snaked out of the S-word file was their relation/relative, the word

SMITTEN

The other two words are verbs, portraying actions performed.  Smitten is an adjective that describes the situation that results from these actions.  The slave, whose ear Peter lopped off, was smitten by the sword.

The two verbs toddled off into linguistic obscurity in the Archaic Dictionary about 400 years ago.  Smitten avoided this fate with a little soft-shoe shuffle and a quick two-step.  It is used, even today, because it evolved its meaning from the actual, physical, to the more allegorical, and mental, and tends to be accompanied by the word with.
She was smitten with the bad-boy biker dude.
He was smitten with the sleek, fast, Tesla sport model.
The entire family was smitten with COVID 19
.

Relatively speaking, the relation I next noticed, was the up-and-coming verb form of

SANDBAG

I prefer the British term ‘cosh,’ which is a blackjack, or bludgeon.  A sport sock, with the toe filled with damp sand, smartly applied  to someone’s head, just above the ear, generally guarantees a half an hour of unconsciousness. (a raging headache, possible fractured skull, concussion, loss of memory, etc.)

The recent business and social usage of ‘sandbag,’ which is becoming as common and as irksome as ‘woke,’ is to thwart or cause to fail or be rejected, especially surreptitiously or without warning – scam, con, or flim-flam.  (There’s an old term, making a comeback because of sandbag)

English is a constantly-changing, fluid language, but sometimes I get the feeling that we’re just being sold down the river.  In a couple of days, I will plainly state some of the problems of getting old, and demonstrate the difference between ‘Bitching’ and ‘Whining.’  Bitching is clearly saying I hurt, Damnit!  Whining is more, Whaaa.  I’m a little sore and I need to lie down.  I teach that in my Grumpy101 Course, at the local Community College.  You guys got it for free.  😉

’22 A To Z Challenge – P

You dirty, rotten, stinkin’ Polecat, expectin’ me to come up with a theme for the letter P on short notice.  (Notice that I wasted three weeks of lead-time??!)  There I was, contentedly looking up the meaning of ‘lollygagging,’ – idling, loafing, slacking off – goldbricking – American slang = shirking responsibility, when Matilda the Muse pointed out that Monday deadline was bearing down on me.  She’s often overbearing.

I always want to provide food for thought, so I thought that I would provide a post about providing food.  Ready or not – here comes

PROVENDER

any dry feed or fodder for domestic livestock
food in general

The NEW COVID-inspired, grocery-store concept of ‘We shop for you, and deliver it’ isn’t new at all.  The vocal group Home Free recently released a compilation of sea-shanties, a couple of which refer to whale-hunting around Australia, in the mid/late 1800s.

One song mentions
Soon may the Wellerman come
To bring us sugar and tea and rum

A ‘Wellerman’ was a captain who worked for two brothers named Weller.  They had five supply ships that serviced the whaling fleet.  They would sail out, and haul back the processed products – rendered oil, blubber, salted whale-meat, baleen ivory, and ambergris.  In return, they would bring out supplies, so that the whalers could remain at sea for weeks and months.

Neither is my concept of an ideal job.  I complain about computer elbow.  There’s no mention of crazy Captain Ahab, and his white whale obsession.  He hung out in the Atlantic off the coast of Messyshoes….Massawhositz….Maine, but couldn’t get a good therapist delivered.  I thought Moby Dick was a venereal disease.  😉

Tell Me If You’ve Heard This One – VII

I put up the image that says that I Love English, but most of these words come from Latin, Greek, French, Hawaiian, Scottish and Spanish.  English loves immigrants – voluntary or not.  😀

‘a’ā  – [ah-ah] (Hawaiian) Basaltic lava having a rough surface
Mount Kilauea’s ‘a’ā surface flow made for a difficult hike.

ARETE – The aggregate of qualities, as valor and virtue, making up good character
He demonstrated arête by rescuing the kitten from the tree.

ARGUS-EYED – having keen sight, vigilant, watchful
It was important that the sentry was argus-eyed, guarding the castle against foes.
Argus – late Middle English: from Latin, from Greek Argos, the name of a watchman in Greek mythology who had a hundred eyes. After he was killed by Hermes, Hera used his eyes to decorate the peacock’s tail.

BLITHESOME – lighthearted, merry, cheerful
The children’s birthday party had a blithesome atmosphere.

CAŇADA – No, no!  Not my favorite Home and Native Land
(Spanish) A small, deep canyon [kuh n-yah-duh]
Actor Ron Canada isn’t from The Great White North.  He came from a hole in the ground in Mexico.

E-TAILING – The selling of goods and services on the internet or through email solicitation
As long as they don’t wake me, or tie up my phone, trying to sell me duct-cleaning in Pakistani.

GERONTOCRACY – Government by a council of elders
A governing body consisting of old people
A state or government in which old people rule
Despite being one, I was going to say that the old farts have screwed things up enough, let the younger ones have a chance.  Then Canada elected [Trudeau Junior], and the Woke stupidity started to really pile up.

GLABELLA – The flat area of bone between the eyebrows, used as a craniometric point
He had a unibrow, a straight line across his glabella.

GLAIKIT – foolish, giddy, flighty
Scottish author Irvine Welsh’s stories are filled with glaikit – the strange and particularly clownish behavior of his Glaswegian characters.

HYPOGEAL – underground, subterranean
Plants that show hypogeal germination grow relatively slowly, especially in the first phase.

NETIQUETTE – The rules of etiquette that apply when communicating over computer networks, especially the internet
Internet trolls display little to no netiquette, often insulting others online.

PARTRICIAN – A person of noble or high rank; aristocrat
A patrician by birth, she was seen as a suitable match for the prince.
Note!  Does not apply to Meghan Markle – see courtesan, or gold-digger

PATULOUS – spreading widely from the center
The tree’s patulous branches gave the family a lot of shade.

SHIPPEN – Dialectical, British – a cow barn, or cattle shed
The cattle had to seek shelter in the shippen before the storm arrived.

TABERNACLE – A house of worship; specifically, a large building or tent used for evangelistic purposes
A receptacle for the consecrated elements of the Eucharist, especially an ornamental locked box used for reserving the Communion hosts.
Also – a swear-word-light, often used by predominantly French-speaking Canadians.

VERJUICE – An acid liquor made from the sour juice of crab-apples, unripe grapes, etc., formerly much used for culinary and other purposes

WHOOP-DE-DO – [hoop-dee-doo – hwoop – woop]
Lively and noisy festivities, merrymaking
The festive party was their annual New Year’s Eve whoop-de-do.

I just got the word that enough is enough, and it’s time to move on.  1960’s garage rock says that Surfin’ Bird is the word.  Have a listen.  😀

XXXV Fibbing Friday

Pensitivity101 is in a silly mood this week so she decided to invite us to mix and match.
Fictional characters or real people, who would you pair the following with? If you wish, you could give your reasons.

Interviewer;  If you could have dinner with anybody, alive or dead, who would you choose?
Beauty-Contest Blonde;  The live one.

  1. William Shakespeare

Daniel Webster.  As fast as Will With a Quill could make up new words, old Danny Boy could put them in the dictionary.
2. Donald Trump

I was going to pair The Donald, and BoJo, but that’s Dumb And Dumber double jeopardy.  If Dashing Don doesn’t get smart and learn to keep his mouth shut, I’ve located a wholesale importer of Personal Lube that he’s gonna need when he gets sent to Club Fed.
3. Margaret Thatcher

I asked both The Rock, and Jason Momoa, if they would be interested in being her escort, but they both said that she was a better man than either of them.  Instead, I found a SCA armourer who could keep her in steel underpants.
4. Peter Piper

Not that Charlie Brown!  This Charlie Brown!    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbBr2bgAbcM
Why’s Peter Piper always pickin’ on me??!
5. Gordon Ramsay

If Iron Lady Thatcher’s armourer wasn’t too busy, perhaps we could get him to fashion the equivalent of a chastity belt for Ramsay’s tongue, and be able to dine in peace and quiet
6. Jessica Rabbit

Jessica said that she wasn’t really bad, she was just drawn that way, so I would swipe her left with James Dean – the ultimate Bad Boy.
7. Boris Johnson

These guys won’t hang out with him anymore because they claim he stole their act.  He could use a good cartographer to chart his course into political obscurity.  Donald Trump’s hairdresser is free, as is the guy who never got a chance to build that Mexican wall.  BoJo could have him start one at Dover to keep the Eurotrash out of Avalon.
8. Einstein

If we introduced Steven Hawking to Einstein, perhaps he could teach the old dog some new quantum tricks.  If the battery in Hawking’s voice synthesizer didn’t run out of juice, they could discuss The Whichness of the Why until a philosophical black hole formed, and we all rotated into an alternate reality where Woke, and Cancel Culture didn’t exist.
9. Wolverine

He could form a Siskel and Ebert-type duo with Freddie Kruger, and create a podcast about the social significance of Charlie Chan movies.  There would be a lot of sharp dialog and pointed comments.
10. Worzel Gummidge.

I would introduce him to the Oz Scarecrow.  They could debate which one was outstanding in his field, which of them was just a stuffed shirt, who couldn’t keep it in his pants, and how to get a good roll in the hay.

Speaking English Like A Frenchman

In 1066, William of Normandy rowed across The Channel, became William the Conqueror, and took England.  In a spirit of fairness, his descendants gave scores of words to the ‘English’ language.

Here is a list of French words and phrases that are commonly used, but have not officially been adopted.

Je ne sais quoi – a special, indefinable quality
Her fancy clothing had a certain je ne sais quoi.

Habitué – a person frequently visiting a place
As an habitué of the bistro, he headed to his usual table.

Billet-doux – a love letter
Stewart’s first novel was a billet-doux to his home town.

Bric-a-brac – a collection of ornaments
Among my aunt’s bric-a-brac was a glass angel that she treasured.

Flāneur – one who idly strolls around and observes
Paul spent the day as a flāneur on the streets of Montreal.

De rigueur – required by fashion or convention
A jean jacket is simply de rigueur this season.

Esprit de l’escalier – a perfect retort, formulated too late
A comedian went home after being heckled, and finally delivered his esprit de l’escalier to the cat.

Sang-froid – self-possession under stress (literally – cold blood)
The butler retained his sang-froid during his employer’s crisis.

Ā la carte – ordered separately from a menu
Not hungry enough for a set meal, Terri ordered baked potato and creamed spinach ā la carte.

Renaissance – cultural revival or rebirth
Toronto’s restaurant scene was undergoing a renaissance.

Contre-jour – with a camera facing the light
Matt positioned his grand-nephew contre-jour to produce a halo effect.

Armour-propre – self-worth
Getting dissed by a nerd wounded Rory’s armour-propre.

Éminence grise – a person with no official title, but great influence
Years of insightful posts had made Archon an ėminence grise in the blogosphere.

Laissez faire – a non-interference approach
Small businesses benefit from laissez faire economics.

Roman ā clef – thinly-veiled novelistic accounts of real people or events
George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a roman ā clef about the Russian Revolution.

I prefer to speak my French in plain English.  Aside from a couple of these which have finally been naturalized into the language, I don’t use any of them.

’22 A To Z Challenge – L

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was going to be sure that I had an L of a post for this letter, then I thought, “Why be satisfied with half-measures?  Let’s go for a Double L version.  Words with two Ls in them are fairly common, but I have several which begin with two Ls.

I recently read a user strongly questioning silent letters in English words – particularly the silent G in words like ‘sign.’  Often, silent letters perform the same functions as accents in French, or Spanish.  They tell you how to pronounce the word.  If there were no G in sign, it would be a sin.

The Welsh language is well-known for its rather cavalier, creative spelling.  It has used a couple of its superfluous Ls to build names with.  There is (Desmond) Llewellyn, who was James Bond’s Q foil in several 007 movies.  His name means that he is a leader.

There is also the Welsh name, Lloyd.  Lloyd is a Welsh surname originating with the Welsh adjective llwyd, most often understood as meaning “grey” but with other meanings as well. The name can be used both as a given name and as a surname.  There is Lloyd Bridges, who went on a Sea Hunt, and then for an Airplane ride, and Doc Brown – Christopher Lloyd.

Not to be out-done, South American Spanish has also given us a couple of double-L words.  The funny animal that lives in the Andes is a Llama.  The funny animal that lives in the Asian mountains is merely a lama.  When you descend from the Andes, you might come out onto the llano, which is a flat plane.  It started as a ‘plano,’ but spelling drift is inevitable.

I’d like to blame these double initial letters on something like pronunciation rules, but I find no such basis.  😀

Turdy Tree Fibbing Friday

Ailments is the theme for this week and pensitivity101 is sure her readers can come up with new definitions or explanations for the following.

  1. What is carpal tunnel?
    It’s the wormhole that runs under the English Channel, from Dover to Calais, even if the train doesn’t, and they have to send crews with golf-carts in to drag the shipwreck asylum-seekers’ victims out.
  2. What is tennis elbow?

It’s a type of arthritis, contracted by leaning too long on a damp bar in the clubhouse, while you’re trying to serve up a little love by bragging about how great your tennis stroke is.  That’s why it’s called a racket.
3. What is a pulled muscle?
It’s the reason that teenage boys have a lock on their bedroom door, so that Mom doesn’t just walk in.  When I hear that an athlete has a pulled groin muscle I think, ‘Shouldn’t he be practicing with the rest of the team, instead of playing with by himself?’

  1. What is tinnitus?

It is how most bachelors feed themselves – a tin of soup, a tin of stew, a tin of spaghetti, a tin of beans, a tin of raviolis, a tin of chili, a bunch of tins of beer.  Only mac and cheese, and pizza, come in cardboard boxes
5. What are crow’s feet?

An expensive delicacy it Iraqi restaurants, costing mucho dinars.  They are seasoned with cumin and coriander, and served with couscous, tzatziki sauce and taftoon bread.
6. What are hammer toes?
It’s an affliction suffered by really klutzy DIY handymen.  They don’t even have time to smack their thumb with the hammer, before they drop it on their foot.

  1. What is pink eye?

It’s a new, hybrid species of salmon, obtained by crossing the ‘silver,’ Pacific, Sockeye salmon, with the redder-fleshed Atlantic salmon.  They’re having trouble releasing it into the wild.  They keep trying to swim back to the laboratory.
8. What is vertigo?

It’s how my German cousin asked about our destination for an evening out, when he visited.  Vertigo for eine gut time?  Vill dere be dancing girls in dirndls? Vill dere be many steins of gut, Bock beer?  Vill dere be schnitzel und sauerkraut?  Vill I be asked for my papers??
9. What are cataracts?

These are the hackneyed stereotype vehicles that the FBI, the CIA, and every American security force who have been so testosterone poisoned that they can’t spell anything more complex than GMC, use for transportation.  Huge, gas-guzzling monsters, and always shiny black, so that they will stand out, especially in movies.  At least, that’s what my speech therapist told me.
10. What is swimmer’s ear?

It’s the one you have to use to listen to your mother when you’re at the beach or pool, and she says, ‘Now remember, you can’t go swimming for at least an hour after you’ve eaten, or you’ll get cramps and drown.’  It’s an old wives tale, but I don’t think she’d be too happy to be described as either old, or a wife.