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.

’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 – R

 

 

It’s said that the Inuit have 19 different words for snow.  Not to be outdone, the British have at least that many words for the concept of

RAIN

I use the word ‘rain’, loosely and generically, to depict moisture in the air.  Each word is a hairsbreadth away from its mates, in describing the exact level of cold, damp, and discomfort produced.  Fog can be from light enough to safely land an airplane, to Pea Soup, which is so thick that you can break your nose, walking into a lamppost.

As the water particles become larger, and more likely to descend as precipitation, the British lexicon progresses from fog, to mist, to mizzle, to drizzle, to showers, to rain.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Brits variously describe their rain as, downpour, drencher, soaker, toad-strangler and kerb-cleaner.

Not to be left out, the Scottish language has generously donated the word

RAWKY

which means foggy, misty, cold and dreary.  If you’ve watched the James Bond movie Skyfall, when he retreats to his family’s Scottish estate, you’ll have caught a glimpse of it.  During this past summer, the BBC, and the police, received a spate of panicked calls from concerned citizens who had witnessed a strange glowing orb in the sky, and feared they were being invaded by space aliens.  They were reassured when told that it was merely the sun.  It does come out and shine – occasionally.

***

Any too-brief post about R, can only benefit from the inclusion of a reference to my Mountain Ash-tree strong GREAT-grandson

ROWEN

He, and his wardrobe of knitted clothes, and his vocabulary, and his curiosity, are all growing by leaps and bounds.  Like many other young lads, he appears to have only two settings, a squirrel-on-meth, Nature’s version of a perpetual-motion machine, and, like a switch was thrown, a somnolence, a catalepsy so swift, that he can fall asleep while putting food in his mouth – at which point, at least one grateful parent often joins him in a brief nap.

Tune in again in a couple of days for Smitty’s Bible-Study seminar.  Remember to bring your King James Version, and fasten your seatbelt.  👿

Lies My Grammar Checker Told Me

The guy who programmed my Word program Grammar Checker, must have been on some wild, non-prescription medication.  If I paid any attention to it, I’d probably end up the same way.  The suggestions – corrections – range from highly disappointing, to Oh F**k No!  I finally decided to keep a list.  Here are a few, with my corrections of Word’s ‘corrections.’

Let’s start with ‘guy’ above, which it insists on adding a comma after, sectioning my independent clause into a smaller, subordinate one.  Now it’s spotted the word ‘guy,’ and wants me to change ‘which’ to ‘whom.’

Archon: God is perfectly loving.
Word: God perfectly loves.
This changes my passive adjective into an active verb.  What He is, is not necessarily what He’s currently doing.  Now it wants me to remove the comma after the first ‘is.’  If I do that, it will want me to remove the duplicated word.

Archon: I’m okay.
Word: I is okay.
Well, I’m not okay with that verb form.

Archon: I only did one sit up
Word: I only did one sits up
I know!  It’s my fault.  I should have put a dash between sit and up.

Archon: I need another drink
Word: I needs another drink
Now I need two drinks.  Oh look, it’s changed its mind.  Oh damn, you can’t see.

Archon: the asshole who screwed you
Word: the asshole that screwed you
No, no!  If we’re going that way, it was a penis that screwed you.

Archon: Sorry man, it’s trick or treat
Word: Sorry man, its trick or treat
That one is subtle, but it burns my ass.

Archon: row, row, row your boat
Word: row, row, and row your boat
Row, row, row your silly recommendations away from me.

Archon: people always seem to know it
Word:  people always seems to know it
It doesn’t seem to know how many, the word “people,” represents.

Archon: letting myself go
Word: letting me go
I do myself.  Everybody else does me.  There’s a rule there that I can’t remember – something about reflexive.

Archon: will never see the light of day
Word: will never sees the light of day
Poor Will, his eyesight is lousy.

Archon: Just to clear things up
Word: Just too clear things up
That is too much to accept.  Dear Lord!  Now it wants to capitalize ‘Too.’

Archon: mattresses aren’t on sale
Word: mattresses isn’t on sale
Unless “Mattresses” is a book or movie, I aren’t accepting that construction

Archon: Turns out I just have kids
Word: Turns out me just have kids
Turns out me don’t trust Grammar-Check

Archon: a chocolate box, and a chocolate Lab, are
Word: a chocolate box, and a chocolate Lab, is a
One plus one equals a plural verb

Archon: it means to lift or raise
Word: it means to lift or rise
Active vs. passive – It raises a question of who writes better English.

Archon – 14 <-> Word – 0  The deterioration of English language usage is not circular.  It is a continuing, downward spiral.  ‘We’ become wrong because we listen to supposed experts, and the supposed experts are wrong because they listen to, and read, our current usage.   👿

’22 A To Z Challenge – M

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forgotten Words – Forgotten Attitudes

What do we want?

GOOD MANNERS

When do we want them?

Right now!

Are we likely to get them??!

F*&@ no!

In a world where the words we use, and our attitudes, are supposedly of utmost importance, words are regularly passing out of use from the English language.  We become dumbed down intellectually, ethically, and spiritually. Here are a few words which have been forgotten, though they were in regular use just a few decades ago. Interestingly, they’re all related in meaning:

Modesty

Humility

Courtesy

Honesty

“I pray thee then, write me as someone who loves his fellow man.”  (Abou ben Adhem)

Donald Trump is gone, although, if he can evade the FBI on his magpie collection of classified documents, he’s threatening to return in 2024.  While he facilitated much of the above, and vindicated it to a too-large swath of the American population, he was not the cause of it.  He was merely a visible symptom of the cultural rot.

As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

Be nice to each other out there.  Okay?  The life you save may be your own.

Thus endeth the reading of the first lesson.  More of the usual drivel soon.

’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.  😀

Parents Of Kids Say The Darnedest Things

Pros

Don’t cast aspirations on her femininity – Cast aspersions, instead.

It continues to reside in the attack. – I had to go up to the attic, to research this.

He spoke a sort of pigeon Galician – This pigeon thinks it should read pidgin.

So, needlessly to say – It was needless to use an adverb instead of an adjective.

He built the viaduct that brought the water – Then it would be an aqueduct.

Mary had a little lamb.  Her cheeks were white as snow – And the lamb’s fleece was white as snow.

The horseflies left whelps with their bites – The young whelps had welts on them.

The squad debauched from the fort – This debauched author meant debouched.

The pilot waggled the plane’s wings for an instance – an instance where it should read, instant.

The company was marketing Santinism. – They weren’t marketing the correct spelling of Satanism.

Phone gets stuck in base guitar – It’s fishy that there’s no bass.

Businessman revels how he got rich – If I were rich, I’d revel, but I wouldn’t reveal how I did it.

He sniffed his depreciation of the idea. – I’d appreciate him using deprecation

The family fortune was dilapidated – and my patience with this usage was depleted.

Amateurs

The idea has gained some exposer recently – Police arrested the exposer for indecent exposure.

Believe it or not – I found a Belief It Or Not Christian video – not wrong…. just wrong!

They were forced to be reckoned with. – I was forced to write, “A force to be reckoned with.”

An elderly none came in – but the nun would have none of that spelling.

She was dancing in the isleI’ll tell you that it should be aisle.

Vacuums don’t cause autism – Neither do vaccines.

I pulled up the parking brake leaver – Well, leave ‘er parked, and look up lever.

Darwin advocated ‘Survival of the Fitness’ – The fittest of us know that’s not true.

It could justify killing or torchering – That spelling is torturing me.

One only has to take a looksy – to know that it should be a look-see.

I was going to lambest him for saying that – I’s like to lambaste you for using lambest.

I’m into essential oils and incest. – Does your daughter know about this?

‘The Office’ is a meaty okra show. – About as mediocre as that spelling.

She said she got a Bachelorette Degree – Blondie meant a baccalaureate!!

I have only lent in my pocket – because you gave up your dictionary for lent.

A term that attempts to draft on an air of coolness – I drank some cool draft while I looked up graft.

This woman had the gull to insult him – A little bird told me she had gall.

He’s got the saddle soars to prove it – Lets waft on over to where they are sores.

***

Now that I’ve had something to say about some things that other people say, it’s back to business as usual.  What??!  Ranting IS my usual?  I dare you to read this post and say that.   😉

Speaking English Like An Arab

Over centuries, dozens of Arabic words have entered the English language, through science, philosophy, mathematics, food, fabrics, trade and travel.

Most were introduced by inland and maritime trade along the Silk Route, while others came through the Islamic conquests of southern Europe. Not all of these words are of Arabic origin – some came from India, Persia and ancient Greece – but Arab merchants helped export them to the West.

Finally, the discovery of medieval Islamic scientists and astronomers during the Renaissance brought new words and concepts to Europe.  I have picked the top 15 most surprising words with Arabic origins.

Admiral: amir أمير

The word for this high-ranking naval commander evolved from amir, the Arabic word for a prince or ruler. The word was first documented on the island of Sicily in the 11th century, where the Arabs had ruled for 300 years.

Alchemy: al kimiya الكيمياء

The ancient branch of philosophy known as alchemy involved the study of substances and materials. Medieval alchemists believed that some liquids could be turned to gold, or a potion that would make its drinker immortal. The original Arabic word stems from the Greek term “khemeia, though some scholars also trace its roots back to ancient Egypt.

Cotton: qutun قطن

Though cotton was known to the ancient Romans, the word and the fabric were imported by Arab merchants to Europe in the late Middle Ages.

Elixir: al-iksir الإكسير

Today, an elixir is a liquid remedy with healing powers. In Arabic, it originally referred to a dry powder for treating wounds. It was later adopted by alchemists who referred to an elixir as the elusive mineral powder that would turn metals into gold.

Jumper: jubba جبّة

The Arabic word for overcoat originally entered European languages as “juppa“, valuable silk clothing, in southern Italy in the 11th century.

Macrame: miqrama مقرمة

This type of knotted textile used in craft and high fashion originates from the hand-loomed fabrics of Arabic weavers. In Arabic, miqrama refers to an embroidered tapestry or bedspread.

Mohair: al-mokhayyar المخيّر

In Arabic, al-mokhayyar was a high-quality cloth made of fine goat hair. Various forms of it were imported to the West for centuries, the most famous being the wool made from Angora goats of Turkey.

Monsoon: mawsim موسم

Early Arab sea merchants on the Indian Ocean rim used the word “mawsim” or “seasons” to refer to the seasonal sailing winds. Later, the word was adopted by Portuguese, Dutch and English sailors as they navigated extreme weather conditions off the coasts of India, South-East Asia and China.

Muslin: musuliyin موصلي

Muslin, a cotton-based fabric, is said to have derived its name from the traders of the city of Mosul, or the musuliyin, who imported it from South Asia to Europe.

Nadir: nazir نظير

In English, a nadir refers to the worst moment, or the point at which something is of the least value. But in Arabic, the word means a counterpart, and was used in medieval Islamic astronomy to refer to the diametrically opposing points of a celestial sphere.

Orange: naranj نارنج

Though both the fruit and the word came from India, Arabs introduced oranges to the Mediterranean region. For many southern European countries today, they are considered a staple fruit.

Serendipity: serendib سرنديب

The ancient fairy tale place of Serendib, which appears in One Thousand and One Nights and other ancient oral traditions, was also the old Arabic name for the island of Sri Lanka. The English word serendipity, meaning a fortunate discovery, was coined by the English author Horace Walpole in 1754.

Safari: safar سفر

The English adopted the Swahili word for journey – safari – in the 19th century for their hunting expeditions in East Africa. Though a safari today involves an organized trip to spot wild animals, its origins are from the Arabic “safar”, or journey, a reminder of the crucial presence of Arab sea merchants on the East African coast.

Sugar: sukkar سكّر

Another word to have travelled the Silk Road is sugar, which was originally produced in India. By the sixth century, sugar cane cultivation reached Persia, and was brought into the Mediterranean by the Arabs, who produced it extensively.

Tariff: ta’riff تعريف

A tariff in Medieval Arabic means a notification. It was introduced to western languages around the 14th century through commerce on the Mediterranean Sea, where it referred to the bill of lading on a merchant ship, or the statement of products and prices for sale.

WOW #74

Yeehaw, buckaroos, this here’s a rootin’, tootin’ yarn about three funny, over-the-hill characters.

Not that three!!  That there is a picture of me and my brother and sister!  😯  How did that get in here?

No, I’m talking about the even older and less significant, Middle English comedy trio of

ROOTLE

TOOTLE

AND

FOOTLE

Do not confuse Rootle with The Rutles, a fake British band that became a real one, much like the fake American band, The Monkees, did.

Rootle is the sometimes-used British alternative verb form of root – to root about like a hog.
to turn up the soil with the snout, as swine.
to poke, pry, or search, as if to find something

Melodious little Tootle means to toot gently or repeatedly on a flute or the like.
to move or proceed in a leisurely way.

Hong Kong English driving instructions include, If pedestrian do not move advantageous, tootle him gently.

You can get footloose with Footle, if you act or talk in a foolish or silly way, loiter aimlessly; potter, or talk nonsense.

Trust the English language to confuse those who are trying to learn it – three words – one basic spelling – two different pronunciations.  😳

Showing the difference between Canadian English and British English, I was taught to putter, rather than potter.  To ‘potter’ would require a throwing wheel, and a kiln.  For me to ‘putter’ only takes a long, strangely-shaped stick to get the ball rolling.  Golf is a lovely walk in the sun and fresh air – spoiled by having to chase a little white ball.  It’ll be par for me to be rootin’ and tootin’ again in a couple of days.