’22 A To Z Challenge – D

 

A number of word-nerds often wish that some older, arcane and archaic words were still in common use, if only to provide insults for the office prankster, the Karen supervisor, and the sneak-thief who steals lunches from the break-room refrigerator.

Then there are terms that even word historians wonder how and why they came into existence, and no-one misses when they’re gone.  Such a one is

DELIVERLY

When I first ran into it, I thought it was just a misspelling.  Even when I checked it on a dictionary site, there was the red underlining, but it admitted that it was real, and meant
adverb Archaic. quickly, deftly.
A Middle English word dating back to 1300–50

If we had quickly and deftly, why did we need deliverly??  It is related to the old command to, “Stand and deliver!”  This was not about a parcel, or a speech.  It referred to a quick, deft, armed response to the challenge.

Everything old is being used for something new.  People are not shopping at bricks and mortar stores anymore.  Instead, they buy online, and have things delivered to them.  I occasionally see FedEx, or Purolator, or DHL, or even Canpar (Canadian Parcel Service) trucks in the neighborhood, but there’s not a day when I don’t see a local, Intense Delivery Service, Mercedes Sprinter van, delivering up and down the street.

Sad to admit, it has stopped at our place more than a few times.  The wife will say, “I wonder if that knitting pattern book that I ordered, will be delivered today.” – and her tablet will chime, with a photo of the package on the porch.  So, if you want your delivery deliverly delivered, use an Intense courier company.  😉

How was my delivery of this post?  Please be quick and deft with your responses.  😀

It’s Not Funny – Until It Is

Twice Upon A Time, I had 51 completed, composed blog-posts in a word file.  Then I accepted a challenge to Blog Every Day in April.  Even before the first of the month, my stash had dwindled to about 40.  I threatened to include a humor/joke post or two, to pad out the month, perhaps even a whole week of comedy, but I did not do that.

Instead, I plucked d one from here, and one from there on the list.  At the end of April I still had 26 posts in my list.  Still lots, right??!  Then I realized what they were.  There was a Fibbing Friday post for each month, until December.  That’s 9!  Likewise, I had an Atheism vs. Religion post for every month till December.  That’s another 9 – total 18!

I had 2 Book Review posts.  I could compose another one, but I’m sure my followers don’t want to always read about what I’m reading about.  I have a couple of Word Origin/Usage posts, but all word and no play, makes Jack (and Jacquie) unhappy readers.

Until the next load of bullshit is delivered, and splashed onto some pages, I need to keep my fans in good humor.  Here’s an extra dollop of funny for this week, and probably another next month.  Read ‘em and leap…. to the conclusion that Hump Day is as amusing as Mondays.

Late, Great, One-Liners

Procrastination is the art of….
….keeping up with yesterday.

Don’t be so open-minded….
….that your brains fall out.

He who farts in church….
….sits in his own pew.

God didn’t create anything without a purpose….
….but mosquitoes come close.

Dogs prepare you for babies….
….Cats prepare you for teenagers

I don’t want to brag, but….
….I finished my 14-day diet in three hours.

I have a pen that writes underwater….
….It can write other words, too.

Any salad is a Caesar salad….
….if you stab it enough.

There’s no snooze button on….
….a cat that wants breakfast.

Anyone who doesn’t know what shampoo tastes like….
….has never washed a dog.

If one door closes, and another opens….
….you house may be haunted.

Mix a four-leaf clover with poison ivy….
….and you’ll have a rash of good luck.

The five-second rule does not apply….
….when you have a two-second dog.

There’s a time and place for decaf coffee….
….Never, and in the trash.

Adulting is soup….
….and I am a fork.

Waffles are just pancakes….
….with abs.

Espresso may not be the answer….
….but it’s worth a shot.

What do you call dental x-rays?….
….Tooth pics.

I was trying to make a pun about quicksand….
….but I’m stuck.

Cats have 32 muscles in each ear….
….all to help them to ignore you.

Autocorrect can go straight to he’ll.

Autocorrect has become its own worst enema.

Rhinos are just….
….fat unicorns.

Pigs are magical animals….
….They turn vegetables into bacon.

A lion wouldn’t drive drunk….
….but a Tiger Wood.

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.

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?  😉

Working One-Liners

 

CAUTION: To avoid serious injury….
….Don’t tell me how to do my job

A wise man once told his wife….
….NOTHING, because he was a wise man.

April showers may bring May flowers, but what do Mayflowers bring?….
….Pilgrims.

The fastest land mammal is….
….a toddler who’s been asked what’s in his mouth.

Parenting is a lot getting up….
….once you’ve sat down.

It’s pretty wild that we used to eat cake….
….after someone had blown on it.

I need a leaf-blower….
….but for people.

My personal style is best described as….
….”I didn’t expect to get out of the car.”

When this virus is all over….
….I still want some of you to stay away from me.

I miss being at work….
….complaining about not wanting to be at work.

I just realized….
….My trash goes out more than I do.

Boobytrap, spelled backwards….
….is partyboob.

Don’t spell part backwards….
….It’s a trap.

I still can’t believe that some people’s survival instincts….
….made them grab toilet paper.

Only 6 dwarves are left….
….Sneezy has been quarantined.

One minute you are young and wild…
…The next, you’re into air fryers.

A big nose is no excuse not to wear a mask….
….I mean, I still wear underwear.

I hear that the government is putting chips into people….
….I hope I get tortilla chips.

I’m sorry I’m late….
….I got here as soon as I wanted to.

Wanna see social distancing?….
….Lend somebody some money.

Welcome to today’s episode of….
….Now what??!

Doctor: You need to listen to your body….
….Body: You’re old, and you want queso.

My favorite way to online shop?….
….I just yell out what I want and wait for an ad to pop up.

My yoga pants….
….have never been to yoga.

I used to be a crastinator….
….Then I decided to go Pro.

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

If you have never remarked, at least to yourself, about the number of English words that are almost the same size and shape, have almost the same letters and meaning, and yet are different…. You’ve never done a crossword puzzle.  😳

Where to find Guinness – Any decent bar – but in the crossword, you have to work sideways.  What is the second latter?  Is it Eire or Erin?

Claim – is it aver, or avow?

Price rise – bump or jump?

Cell inhabitants – nuns or cons?

Prohibit – bar or ban?

Talk a lot – yak or gab?

Geological period – era or eon?

Sleep – nod or nap?

The top – acme or apex?

Peak – top or tip?

Not real – fake or faux?

Hand warmers – mitts or muffs?

Gourmet delicacy – snail or quail?

Hurled – flung or slung?

Comics dog – Otto or Odie?

Over – atop or upon?

The 411 – info or data?

Stop up – plug or clog?

Exploited – milked or bilked?

Wicked – evil or vile?

Senate yes – aye or yea?

Kick out – eject or evict?

Made mad – angered or enraged?

Outdo – beat or best?

Pants part – seat or seam?

Agree with – sync or side?

Father-involved – parental or paternal?….or, if mother’s involved – prenatal

Old-time actress, in five letters – starts with GA.  Ooh!  Ooh!  I got this!  Green Acres TV show – Eva Gabor.  Oops. Sorry!  Even old-timier than that – Greta Garbo!  Same five letters – different order.  Rats!

Dog food brand (in four) – Iams or Alpo

Because of the product that they provide, crossword composers are usually exacting and precise in the usage of words in both their clues, and solutions.  Sadly, illiteracy and incorrect usage creep in, even among the best.

The solution to doesn’t want to, is the six-letter word averse, not the seven-letter adverse, which means, unfavorable, contrary, opposing.

The correct response, (in four letters, second letter I), to lay low is kill.  To hide, is to lie low.

The pedant in me says that core group is not a cadre!  A cadre is a frame or border, which contains other things placed inside.  If you’re pretentious enough to use the word cadre, then your core group are the newbies.

Muss one’s hair.  Tussle means wrestle, scuffle or struggle  It’s not accurate, unless we’re talking about Amos, from the 9 Chickweed Lane comic strip – tousle comes from the Scottish touse – to handle roughly – to dishevel.

Finally, we get to related things which occur serially and sequentially, but are not identical.

Festive nights are not eves!  Eve is the short form for evening, the time when light and dark are about the same – dusk, twilight, nightfall, even gloaming – depending on the date, perhaps from Six P.M. till Nine.   ‘Nights’ continue through till sunup the next morning, but very few festive parties do.

To fill a pipe does not mean tamp.  They are two separate actions.  A pipe must first be filled, before the tobacco can be tamped down for a slow, even smoulder.  It’s why Scotty stopped smoking a pipe.  When he was smoking someone else’s tobacco, he crammed so much into the bowl that he could hardly draw.  When he was smoking his own, there was so little that it wasn’t worth it.

Ties vs. laces.  I see teenagers all the time, whose shoes have been laced, the ends of which are dragging on the ground, untied.  I often wonder why they, or someone else, don’t step on a trailing end, and produce an epic face-plant.

Unlatch a gate – open.  I can unlatch a gate, and leave it for the dog, or the cows, or even my buddy the burglar, to open when it is necessary, or convenient.

Assuming that the therapy session goes well, and the meds kick in, I’ll be back, as usual, in a couple of days.  You’ve been warned.  😉

This Ain’t No Dang Instagram

This is not Instagram, but an incredible simulation!

This past Sunday, with COVID’s permission, we had the entire family over to film another episode of Smitty’s Loose Change.  It was a delayed Easter, and an advance celebration of the great-grandson’s birthday, which is today.  (Oops!  Got my publishing dates mixed up.  It was yesterday.)

The culinary centerpiece was our version of a Black Forest cake.  Everybody eats – everybody helps.  Since the grand-daughter-in-law has come to love the base cake, and since it evades the grandson’s food allergies, she has learned to bake the spelt-flour/dark chocolate/mayonnaise cake.

The wife mixed up the whole-cherry sauce for it.  The grandson whipped the cream, fine-shredded a block of dark chocolate to sprinkle on it, and plated and served to everyone in the living room after dinner, while I wowed the crowd with my fantastic fork-work.

The daughter sent along some food for thought.

The grandson brought two 25 cent coins for my collection, from the East Caribbean States.  Canadian vending machines will reject American quarters because they are the wrong size and weight.  They cannot tell the difference between these and Canadian quarters though, which is how he got two of them in change.

The Grandson’s path from the bus stop to his housing complex, is along a community trail.  He spotted a piece of fluttering paper, and also brought a Nigerian 100 Naira note.  I did my usual money laundering, using warm water and liquid hand soap, getting rid of skin oils, dust, and COVID viruses.  Then I ironed it smooth and flat.  I have African bills from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and South Africa.  This was a welcome addition.

When I told the grandson that I had somehow lost the pictures of the stone cat for my The Year In Photos post, he riffled through his Smart phone, found them from 9 months ago, and emailed them to me again.  No excuses this time.  I claimed that I almost stepped on it, but the owner actually had it up on a porch railing, in the sun, much like a real cat.

At last, the star of the show, the closing act, the birthday boy himself, great-grandson, Rowan.  We thought that he might be getting Italian or Scottish red hair.  In a certain light, it seems that there is a slight, reddish cast to it, but in strong light, it shines a golden brown.  The women took another in, what apparently is going to become a tradition, a photo of four generations of males – me, the son, the grandson, and Rowan – showing how he develops, and the rest of us deteriorate, over the years.  😉

April, and this BEDA act, are rapidly drawing to a close.  Thanx for joining in the fun.  I’m going to slow down to my usual schedule again next week.  I have to!  One of the wheels on my walker has jammed.  😳

Inventing Christianity

I offer the following, as it was offered to me – for cogitation and contemplation.  I have found no official corroboration, nor refutation.  Christians who deny that their religion is not just a made-up one, can research this historical document, apparently composed and signed by Constantine, Roman Emperor and first, self-appointed Pope.   😯

A new consciousness of personal human dignity has emerged across our empire.  Men feel the infinite value and responsibility of a new life.  But within their realm of imposed happiness, a strange thing is occurring.  As naturally as they have rejected the former political structure, men have begun to seek a religion of a more personal nature.

It is admitted that when in recent times the appearance of our Savior, Jesus Christ had become known to all men, there immediately made its appearance a new religion, not small, and not dwelling in some corner of the Earth, but indestructible and unconquerable, because it has assistance directly from God.  This religion, thus suddenly appearing at the time appointed by the inscrutable counsel of God, is the one that has been honored by all with the name of Christ.

It is true that religion and civilization advance together.  But it is equally true that religious creeds and practices can often lag behind civilization.  We find that situation at present with the lingering of the pagan gods and the emergence of the new Christian faith.  We find a further example of this with the new Christian faith fighting within itself, so many varied views as to what should or should not be believed.  So many different ideas as to who and what is God and who and what is our Savior.

Any religion must reflect the pure ideals of the society in which it exists, its practices and sacrifices can only be as the general sentiment allows.  No new religion can easily claim the soil where other gods have long been worshipped.  To survive, a religion must have structure, rules, order, and, most important, consistency.  The following mandates are offered as a means to protect that which we created:

Always remember that an Angry vengeful God is preferable to a benign, loving entity.  We must Proclaim that Obedience and compliance with God’s directives is the only way to obtain eternal peace in heaven, while disobedience leads to everlasting suffering.  The fear of that perpetual suffering should be used to keep the faithful under our control.  The faithful can never forget that the only salvation from their fear comes from the Christian faith, its Doctrine and practices never open to question, their obedience absolute.

Sin is the mechanism whereby control will be enforced.  For the Hebrew nation the Ten Commandments, which Moses first delivered, have long stood as their basic tenets.  But we need more.  A list of sins should be created, a list that adapts to the times, each sin designed to instill fear.  There must be a clear belief that a failure to obtain forgiveness of sin places the immortal soul in the gravest of danger, with forgiveness obtained only through the Christian faith.  This concept should begin at birth with the belief that all men are born into the world with sin.  Never will they dwell with God unless there is absolution for this original sin through the Christian faith.

Many of the prior religions fostered a belief that when one lifetime ends another begins, the cycle never ending.  This spiritual immortality, this reincarnation is surely comforting, but the Christian faith will offer only one physical life and One opportunity at eternal salvation.  When that life ends the soul moves to either heaven or hell, both of which we must not only create but define.

Never can the failings of man be blamed on any lacking or deficiency in the Christian faith.  Instead an adversary must be created.  A diabolos, a spirit, a devil, who constantly poses challenges along the path to salvation.  All of man’s sins and shortcomings must be blamed on this devil, who is always present, always tempting, never relenting, with the only resistance coming from Christian doctrine.

No spiritual abilities can ever be tolerated.  Those who profess visions or an ability to speak with God are a danger.  As treason is punishable by death, heretical thinking and acts must likewise know the wrath of God.  Heretics can never be tolerated, their deaths a righteous calling, a warning to others that actions and thoughts contrary to the Christian faith come with dire consequences.  Killing in the name of God is not a sin.  Defending the faith with the spilling of blood is a duty we must never abandon.  (Emphasis mine – lovely religion, this Christianity.)

Religion expresses itself in terms of the knowledge of the world in which it exists.  If that be defective then religion likewise is defective.  Never be afraid to change.  It is the only way to survive.  But never be too anxious to do so, either.

Sacred objects are those things that man must not use or touch because they belong only to God.  Creating these, whether they be churches, places, people, words, or things, is essential to rooting our Christian faith.  Keeping them sacred through rules and punishments is equally important.

Priests shall become a special class unto themselves.  I am the natural choice to ultimately lead these priests, as religion is a vital part of politics.  The first duty of the state is to stay right with God and keep God on good terms with the people.  The priests’ duty is to keep the people on good terms with me.

Above all, the Essence of Christianity must be in loving God and following Him in faith, but it must also include upholding the authority of the Priests and believing in Christian doctrine without question.  On this objective we must unite as the conduct of public affairs will be considerably eased if we take this step.  Let us rejoice in unity.

Constantinus
Pontifex maximus
Nicea
ad 325

Musical Philosophy

I’ve heard that music has things to say.  Sometimes though, what it has to say is not all that nice.  I’ve recently paid attention to a couple of songs, and been disturbed.

Vocal group Home Free has redone Kenny Rogers’, The GamblerOn a warm summer’s evening, on a train bound for nowhere.  So, the gambler has no goal, no destination.  It seems like he left the last town one step ahead of ‘Resign or be prosecuted,’ or being tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.  He has no home, no family, and no friends.

He relies on the goodness of strangers.  He is so broke that he has no whiskey for anesthetic against the physical and psychological aches and pains.  He has to cadge cigarettes and doesn’t even have a 1¢ pack of paper matches to light them.  He manages to die alone, un-noticed, unloved, unmourned, yet the song holds him up as the epitome of a compelling source of life-style advice.

Even worse, Home Free does a cover of Boyz II Men’s End Of The Road.  Their arrangement and delivery make it sound great, until you actually listen to the lyrics.

Come to the end of the road
Still I can’t let go
It’s unnatural
You belong to me
I belong to you

Girl, I know you really love me
You just don’t realize
You’ve never been there before
It’s only your first time

Maybe I’ll forgive you
Maybe you’ll try
We should be happy together
Forever, you and I

The ‘she’ of this couple wisely wants the relationship to be over.  The obsessive, abuser boyfriend/husband is creepy and scary.  END OF THE ROAD I CAN’T LET GO – YOU BELONG TO ME – I BELONG TO YOU – MAYBE I’LL FORGIVE YOU – WE SHOULD BE HAPPY TOGETHER – FOREVER!   😯   👿

This isn’t a ‘Happy Ever After’ love song.  This is a murder/suicide plot – a prelude to stalking charges, restraining orders, and an application for a handgun permit.  Paul Anka never wrote shit like this, maybe because it’s hard to rhyme Psychotherapy.  😳

Then there’s their version of Travelling Soldier, where a young soldier, about to be shipped overseas, puts the moves on an adolescent, local girl before he leaves.  It says, So they went down, and they sat on the pier.  He said, “I bet you got a boyfriend, but I don’t care.”

This song was previously done by the all-female group, The Dixie Chicks, until Dixie got an injunction, preventing them from using that name.  Now they’re just The Chicks, like the Peeps.  I’ve seen a YouTube video of their concert presentation.   If you’re gonna play in Texas, Ya gotta have a fiddle in the band.  They got a fiddle, alright.  The catgut for the strings sounds like it’s still being pulled out of the cat.

Home Free do a cover of God Bless Texas, with the line – God blessed Texas with His own hand – and all proceeds from the performance of this song will go to aid the Billions of dollars of damage caused by hurricanes and floods, which they show in the video.  Couldn’t take much more of that blessing.

Stop back for some better music soon.  😀

’22 A To Z Challenge – B

 

Good afternoon class.  Today we’re going to discuss a phoney and valueless word, which came to epitomise a phoney and valueless city.  If it fell out of the mouths of anyone other than Englishmen, it would be Birmingham, but the rustic tongues of the northern shires turned it into

Brummagem

bruhmuh-juhm ]

showy but inferior and worthless

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF BRUMMAGEM?

Brummagem, an adjective and noun meaning “showy but inferior and worthless; something of that kind,” comes from the local Birmingham (England) pronunciation of Birmingham. The original (and standard) spelling and pronunciation of the city is bir-; the nonstandard or dialect spelling bru– is an example of metathesis, the transposition of sounds, a very common phenomenon.

Compare Modern English bird with Middle English brid (brid was the dominant spelling until about 1475; the spelling bird is first recorded about 1419).

The name Birmingham is first recorded as Bermingeham in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book (1086); spelling variants with Br- first appear in 1198 as Brumingeham. In the mid-17th century Birmingham was renowned for its metalworking and notorious for counterfeit coins.  At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, there was an abundance of both metal, and men who knew how to work it.  It was easy to substitute cheap steel for valuable silver.

Brummagem entered English in the second half of the 17th century.

My Scottish ancestors, up in Glasgow, might steal an Englishman’s silver coins, or serve him a bowl of dodgy oatmeal, but they’d never stoop to counterfeiting.  Some of them might have been crooks, but they were honorable, honest crooks.   😉  😳