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Messages - mkenuk

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Words / -s ending- Sunday 24th Oct.
« on: October 25, 2010, 12:04:37 PM »
I wonder if there isn't a case for allowing both 'ethic' and 'ethics' in Chihuahua games. One is not really the plural of the other. My COD defines 'ethic' as 'a set of moral principles'. We talk about (for instance) 'the Protestant work ethic.'
'Ethics' has a separate entry in the COD and has two definitions 'the moral principles governing conduct' or (as a singular noun) 'the branch of knowledge concerned with moral principles'. This is not the plural of 'ethic' as defined above. A similar case might be made for 'physic' (a medicine) and 'physics' the branch of science.
I know some words are allowed with and without 's' - plier / pliers for example. Maybe there is a case for these ones? I know you love these 's'/ no 's' problems!

Words / Re: To e or not to e (sic)
« on: October 22, 2010, 02:25:28 PM »
You're right, Pat, it is very confusing. Michael Swan's 'Practical English Usage' simply says '.. we usually drop the 'e'..' and gives 'shade/shady' as an example. I think the number of adjectives we're talking about is very small - off the top of my head, apart from the ones you quote, I can only think of 'ricey'; I personally am very conservative in matters of spelling and grammar, and would automatically write all these words with a 'y' and not an 'ey'. I think there are many more words  - breezy, noisy, crazy, hazy, lazy, etc - that could never be written with an 'e' (surely!)

Words / Re: Common word missed for Monday Oct 18
« on: October 20, 2010, 01:50:02 PM »
Just to add a bit more fuel to the fire... Chambers gives the origin of 'nark' as a Romany word meaning 'nose' and quotes the phrase (well-known in UK) 'a copper's nark', an informer. There is also the adjective 'narky', mainly British meaning 'irritable'.
'Narc' (with a 'c') is from the US and means a narcotics agent.
The two words are not the same, and are not related.

Words / Re: Common word missed for Monday Oct 18
« on: October 19, 2010, 11:21:58 AM »
I'm not sure the two words are the same; 'nark' has been around in UK for ages meaning 'a police informer' or 'stool pigeon'. It also means 'to annoy' - 'It really narks me when.....'. I would say that both of these uses were slang and probably uncommon. 'Narc' on the other hand is US slang for 'narcotic'. Another word 'narco', as used many times in the TV series 'The Wire', is a slang term for police narcotics squads.

Words / Re: Common? (13 October 2010 Standard)
« on: October 15, 2010, 12:11:49 PM »
I found the spelling 'cion' in the Concise Oxford; it's shown as "US variant spelling of 'scion'"

Words / Re: Common? (13 October 2010 Standard)
« on: October 14, 2010, 11:58:18 AM »
I have to agree with both TRex and ensiform; living in Bangkok, the traffic problems here are such that 'congestion' has to be one of the most common words in use in the expat community! My 'arguments' yesterday might have been with 'tocsin' (hardly in everyday use nowadays) and 'cession' (rather a 'technical' term from the field of international politics). 'Gnostic' is sometimes written with a capital, referring to a 2nd century heresy, and as such would certainly be rare. I have no problem with 'cosset' or 'cosseted'; they seem quite familiar to me; finally 'scion'; I had no idea until yesterday that in the US it can be written without the 's' - 'cion'.

The Daily Quest / Re: effendi
« on: October 10, 2010, 02:24:46 PM »
I suspect Birdy grew up on the other side of the Atlantic, so a couple of the names he mentions are unfamiliar. We used to watch cowboy films, but hardly ever read cowboy books. Tarzan, of course, was a favourite; G.A Henty wrote (seemingly) hundreds of 'boys own' historical adventures with titles like 'With Clive in India'; among others that I devoured were Conan Doyle's 'Challenger' adventures and  (more 'adult' and 'daring') the Bulldog Drummond stories by 'Sapper' and the Fu Manchu tales by Sax Rohmer. All incredibly jingoistic and racist, aimed at perpetuating the idea that 'the sun never sets on the British Empire'. Most of them would be banned now, of course. They culminated in the 50s in the James Bond novels of Ian Fleming; Bond was above all things, the defender of British values, and would expect to be addressed as 'effendi' or 'sahib' depending where he was.

The Daily Quest / Re: effendi
« on: October 10, 2010, 12:01:05 PM »
I think I have to agree with ensiform. Growing up as a young lad (and an avid reader) in the 50s, boys' literature largely consisted of adventure stories set in the far-flung reaches of the European empires; 'Beau Geste' (P.C. Wren) and 'Sanders of the River' (Edgar Wallace) are two which come to mind; many of these books would now be condemned (justifiably) as racist; however, they were full of words like 'effendi', 'sahib', 'bwana' and 'pasha'. At the time, of course, I didn't really know what these words meant: - they were just things that people said in foreign countries. The words have stuck with me, however. How common they are today is another matter. I doubt very much if they would be used in children's literature today.

Words / A blue day
« on: October 03, 2010, 12:21:14 PM »
The challenge of Saturday 2nd October had 'blue', 'bluer', 'blues' and 'blued' all accepted as common words. I've no problem with that: they are all words in common usage, in my opinion. 'Blue' can be used in many ways: the name of a colo(u)r, (adjective or noun), a feeling of intense sadness, or a verb meaning 'to squander money' (in UK) or 'to fight' (In Australia). 'Bluer' is obviously the comparative form of the adjective, and 'blued' the second or third form of the verb.  But what about 'blues'? In chihuahua-speak does it refer to the music of (for example) John Lee Hooker? The problem then is that 'blues' is also the third person singular form of the verb, or the plural form of the noun ('Look at all the different blues in that seascape.'), and in that case would be unacceptable. Or maybe I'm just being pedantic?

Words / Re: Barnet
« on: September 21, 2010, 09:38:28 PM »
A very 'fair' decision, Alan!

Words / Re: lutetium
« on: September 18, 2010, 11:03:27 AM »
It reminds me of the wonderful song by the American comedian-cum-math(s) Professor, Tom Lehrer. In one of the songs on his album 'An Evening (wasted) with Tom Lehrer', he sings, to the tune of Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Modern Major General' , the names of every one of the chemical elements, accompanying himself on the piano at the same time. 'Lutetium' is included somewhere in the lyrics. Or am I the only one old enough to remember Tom Lehrer?

Words / Re: Barnet
« on: September 16, 2010, 09:22:18 PM »
Yes, on second thoughts I realise I wasn't clear enough. I meant of course, 'common enough to be included as a commonword'. I think it should be allowed, but 'uncommon'.

Words / The inconsistency of seaweed
« on: September 16, 2010, 09:14:58 PM »
Just a thought, Alan, but if 'alga' is classed as 'uncommon' (Wednesday's standard), shouldn't its adjective 'algal' also be 'uncommon'? Or perhaps they should both be 'common'? There does seem to be a teensy bit of inconsistency here.
Also, can I make a case for the inclusion of 'lares', the Roman houshold gods?  I think it's one of those words like 'news' and 'scissors' which don't have a singular. I don't think there is a common word 'lare' of which 'lares' would be the plural. It would have got me an extra point in Wednesday's challenge.

Words / Re: Barnet
« on: September 16, 2010, 08:27:58 PM »
When Linda says 'over here', I assume she means 'in UK'. It's one of the better-known examples of Cockney rhyming slang, recognised by, but not necessarily used by, people outside London. Well-known among us Brits perhaps, but is it well-enough known outside UK to justify inclusion in what is essentially an international game? My Concise Oxford gives it with a small 'b' and describes it as 'Brit. informal'. Chambers, perhaps surprisingly, doesn't seem to have it.

Words / Re: You say 'chapatti', I say ... what?!!!
« on: September 05, 2010, 11:46:12 AM »
For what it's worth: Concise Oxford (the fount of all knowledge) has only 'chapatti' (two ts). Chambers, the other fount of all knowledge, and the official reference dictionary for Scrabble (so it says on the cover) has 'chapati', 'chapatti', 'chupati' and 'chupatti', so all of those would be allowed in Scrabble. Worth how many on a triple word score?

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