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Messages - Alan W

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Words / Re: Nimby common?
« on: Yesterday at 04:41:52 PM »
In this topic, Les raised the issue of troth, which he felt should be rare on the grounds of being obsolete.

Nobody spoke up for it, but maybe it was overshadowed by nimby and, mainly in another thread, faerie. I found an example of its use in a recent news item about a French "anti-separatism" law:

People representing the French state, in either the public or private sector, will have to plight their troth to the principles of secularism and neutrality in public service. One consequence is the end of public swimming pools with male and female-only lanes for religious reasons.

(It's good to see the French government is focused on the big issues of the day.)

When the word is used, it's usually being either pledged or plighted, or occasionally given. These are phrases which people have perhaps lifted from traditional wedding vows - which are possibly not heard so often these days in actual wedding ceremonies.

I don't think troth is actually common, so it will be treated as a rare word from now on.

Words / Re: Nimby common?
« on: Yesterday at 04:13:24 PM »
Getting back to the original issue, the common classification of nimby, what seems to decide the issue in my mind is that about 90% of the time the word is written as NIMBY or Nimby. The word written in all lower case letters is not common, so I'll change its category to rare.

Word Games / Re: 7 by many club
« on: July 27, 2021, 02:57:41 PM »
I can type and mouse fairly quickly – hey, did I just invent a new verb?

If it isn't a verb already, then it probably should be - a regular verb, preterite and past participle 'moused'
After all, Chi now recognizes the verb 'remote' - 'to use a remote control device'
Why not 'to mouse'?

Moused and mousing are both accepted as common words. The online Oxford gives a few verb meanings for mouse: to hunt for mice; to prowl around as if searching; and - yes - to use a mouse to move a cursor on a computer screen.

Words / Re: 19th June 7-by-many CHECKROOM puzzle
« on: July 27, 2021, 01:05:13 PM »
From what I can see, checkroom is fairly uncommon in the US these days, but in any case it's not used elsewhere so it will be made rare.

Words / Re: demesne common?
« on: July 27, 2021, 12:47:36 PM »
This word is so rare that nobody's claimed that it seems like a very common word to them, and one that any well-read person would be familiar with!  ;)

It will be classed as rare in future.

Words / Re: Monday 19th July 7-by-many HEXAMETER puzzle
« on: July 26, 2021, 09:59:03 PM »
On the one hand, hexameter is quite a specialist word, relevant mainly to poetry in languages other than English. A book review in The Spectator in June reported that:

His stated goals as a translator are modest: ‘Dactylic hexameter does not work well in English, and I abandon it entirely in this translation, preferring a rough five-beat iambic line that accurately preserves the meaning of the Greek.’

The word may have been covered in junior high school in New York fifty years ago, but I suspect it might have vanished from the curriculum in more recent years. It may have been mentioned in my schooling, more like sixty years ago, because I did play the word.

On the other hand, the related word pentameter is probably better known since most of Shakespeare and a lot of other English poetry taught in schools is written in iambic pentameters. And a player who knows the word pentameter and knows something about prefixes denoting numbers may infer the existence of tetrameter, hexameter, heptameter, etc. (Of these words, pentameter and hexameter are the ones that are currently common in Chi.) That might help to explain the fact that about half the players of the puzzle in question did play hexameter.

What decides the issue for me is that I consider the all-letter word in each puzzle should be unmistakably common, so that anyone who doesn't think of it will be satisfied that they could have thought of it. So I'm going to make hexameter rare and drop it as a puzzle seed word.

Words / Re: Verb+-er words
« on: July 26, 2021, 02:16:16 PM »
This one's been hanging around for a while, but it's pretty obvious that it should be rare. I do find a fair few examples of rifler online, almost all relating to "egames". E.g. a Reuters item from 6 July:

The six-month run of Pawel “reatz” Janczak as rifler for AGO’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team has come to an end after his contract was not renewed.

This specialized usage does not warrant common status. Rifler will be treated as rare in future.

Words / Re: word suggestion: fuzzer, fuzzing
« on: July 25, 2021, 02:39:19 PM »
This is recent enough that I never encountered it during my IT career. The word is listed in Wiktionary, which gives a few usage examples. The word can also be found in software development books like Fuzzing for Software Security Testing and Quality Assurance (2008), by Takanen, Demott and Miller.

Fuzzer will be accepted in future as a rare word. Fuzzing is already accepted, thanks to various verb senses of the word fuzz: to make or become fuzzy, etc.

Words / Re: 20th June 7-by-many CASUALNESS puzzle
« on: July 25, 2021, 02:28:06 PM »
The phenomenon may be all too common, ridethetalk, but the word, not so much.

It certainly is a word, validly constructed, and explicitly noted in some dictionaries, such as Merriam-Webster. A usage example from a TV review just a couple of days ago in a paper called the Oregonian:

After all, while it’s cruel to think so many of these rich jerks deserve bad things happening to them, it’s understandable, as we watch them demonstrate their pampered cluelessness.

Puzzlingly, the News on the Web corpus indicates that the word is used much more often in Nigeria than in any other English-speaking country.

Cluelessness will be allowed, as a rare word.

Words / Re: Eurozone
« on: July 25, 2021, 02:16:19 PM »
I'll add eurozone as a rare word.

Words / Re: Eurozone
« on: July 24, 2021, 03:08:33 PM »
The Oxford dictionary crowd seem to be in two minds about this. The OED lists eurozone uncapitalized, but with the note "also with capital initial". The Shorter Oxford and the online version both show it in all lower case. Some other dictionaries also show it with no capital letter.

And as pat notes, it's often written without a capital, so I've no doubt it's eligible to be a Chi word. But I wonder, should it actually be made a common word? I feel the word is pretty well known everywhere, although it's used a lot more frequently in the UK and Ireland than in other English-speaking countries. Any thoughts?

Words / Re: 16th June challenge PETRIFIES puzzle
« on: July 24, 2021, 02:47:42 PM »
Firepit is given as a single word in a number of dictionaries, including the online Merriam-Webster, which defines it thus:

a pit dug into the ground or encased in a surrounding structure (as of masonry or steel) in which a fire is kept burning for cooking, warmth, etc.

That dictionary also gives some usage examples. I'll add firepit as a rare word.

Words / Re: deliria common?
« on: July 23, 2021, 05:18:49 PM »
Getting back to the original issue - I agree that deliria is not really a common word.

Delirium is not often pluralized, but when it is, the standard plural form deliriums seems to be more often used. An example of someone using deliria was on an LSE blog in April 2020: "...many prefer to trust the authority of science instead of following the president’s deliria." In this case the president in question was Brazil's Bolsonaro.

Deliria will be treated as a rare word from now on.

Words / Re: Elaenia
« on: July 23, 2021, 05:04:20 PM »
The word elaenia is in the Merriam-Webster and The latter's definition is "any of numerous tropical American flycatchers of the genus Elaenia, having short crests and small bills."

The genus name is capitalized, but when applied to a member of a particular species it needn't be, although many people do seem to give the word an initial capital E. An example of the word written in lower case is on the website, describing Tepui elaenia birds:

Darker and yellower than other elaenias, and usually only elaenia in its habitat... Its most common vocalizations, which include clear whistles and burry calls, are similar to those of other elaenias.

I'll add it as a rare word.

Words / Re: 13th June Standard CONCUSSED puzzle
« on: July 22, 2021, 04:43:52 PM »
We already allow secondo, "The second or lower part in a duet" (online Oxford). Secondo is known to most dictionaries, whereas I couldn't find secundo in any, other than Wiktionary. Secondo is from the Italian, the source of most musical terms. Secundo is Latin.

Is secundo really a word in English? It's true you can find web sites where people use it for the second part in a duet, but maybe they're just poor spellers. Sorry, ridethetalk, but I'm not convinced.

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