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Topics - rogue_mother

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Words / Empyrean
« on: February 20, 2008, 05:14:06 AM »
Alan, I have to question whether empyrean is a common word.  Common for whom?  It's not a slang word, and there are only four hits in the British National Corpus.

Whatever / Happy New Year!
« on: February 09, 2008, 10:04:49 AM »
Happy New Year to all Rats and friends of Rats!  Since I was born in the Year of the Rat, I am hoping that this will be a positive year for me.  I wish the same for all fellow Forumites, regardless of your astronomical sign.

If your age on your next birthday starting from today is evenly divisible by 12, then you are probably a fellow Rat.  Late January and early February birthdays are subject to the vagaries of the lunar calendar.

Words / brang
« on: December 01, 2007, 07:37:52 PM »
A new word list update, and Dave is already finding more obscure words!  Here's one that's not so obscure and yet is not on the list.  Brang as a preterite of bring is not grammatically correct, but I am given to understand that it is in at least one version of the OED, as its usage is not limited to the United States.

Words / Declension, American style
« on: November 28, 2007, 04:18:01 AM »
Many people around the world are familiar with the Southern U. S. expression, "y'all."  Within the U. S., many are also familiar with the possessive of this pronoun, which is "y'all's," and the plural, which is "all y'all."  But I heard a new one on TV this past weekend.  An expression that has gained some currency among younger people, and which I have frequently heard, is "you guys."  The new twist that caught my attention is that these two words are treated as one, because I heard a young man say "your guys's" as the possessive.  Isn't wonderful how our language continues to evolve without the constraints of a royal academy to banish such creativity?

Words / Plat -- uncommon?
« on: October 24, 2007, 03:03:51 AM »
We all come at the word lists from our own frames of reference, and a word may strike us as common or uncommon based on our national origin, occupation, avocation, age, or some other factor.  Mostly in this forum we have expressed surprise that such and such a word is common.  However, every time I find the word plat, I am surprised that it is in the less common category.  So I am asking, is plat uncommon outside of the United States?  Or maybe even outside of Virginia?  Around here, when real estate is mortgaged (especially when changing ownership), the mortgage lender requires a plat of the property.  As a consequence, the word plat is in the vocabulary of most Virginia homeowners.

Words / We hear and obey...
« on: October 11, 2007, 12:59:41 PM »
My daughter sent me an email concerning a contest in The Spectator, a British weekly, in which contestants were invited to rewrite the Ten Commandments.  The winners appeared toady (Wednesday, 10th October 2007).  One of them seemed to be speaking directly to Chi fans:

Mind your language
1. Thou shalt have no other sources but the OED.
2. Thou shalt not make printed images of any version of Holy Writ save that which is the Authorised Version, insomuch as modern translations clarify not, but have a vile sound withal.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of anything in vain, but shalt get it right.
4. Remember the subjunctive, to keep it wholly.
5. Honour thy mother tongue, that Shakespeare turn not in his grave.
6. Thou shalt not text, which killeth the language.
7. Thou shalt not steal words from foreign tongues, for who now remembereth what perestroika meaneth?
8. Thou shalt not adulterate the language with neologisms which confound the Greek with the Latin, even unto the word television.
9. Thou shalt not bear false syntax: let thy verbs be verbs and thy nouns be nouns.
10. Thou shalt not abandon words like covet, that thy vocabulary be not as that of a retarded gibbon.

Brian Murdoch

The entire results can be viewed at

Whatever / The fungus among us
« on: October 10, 2007, 02:19:28 AM »
When my husband and I went for a hike last Sunday in Scott's Run Nature Preserve, along the banks of the Potomac River in Virginia, we chanced upon a spectacular fungus growing on a fallen log.  Photos are attached.  As best as I can determine through Google, this is either Laetiporus sulphureus or L. cincinnatus, both of which are edible as long as they are growing on hardwood trees rather than conifers.  The growth was at least five feet long.

Words / rebab
« on: October 06, 2007, 12:20:46 PM »
Alan, I'm surprised this one is not on the list!  A rebab is a very common type of fiddle or lute played in Middle Eastern countries.  Maybe your dictionaries still list it as a foreign word?  Chi accepts sitar and sarod.

Words / Aargh!
« on: September 25, 2007, 01:31:11 PM »
Aargh!  It took me a couple of tries to get the spelling right on this one for the Challenge this past Sunday.  My first try was argh.  When that didn't pan out, I googled it.  Good old Internet...What turned up was this page dedicated to the variant spellings of aargh,  A real hoot!

Edit: The original link is dead. I have left it in context for historical purposes, but the new link should be Aargh!

Words / Stet v. dele
« on: September 19, 2007, 12:25:58 AM »
Alan, no request for a change here, as both words are acceptable.  It just strikes me as odd that stet is a common word, while its cohort and partner in crime, dele, is not.

Words / minie
« on: September 17, 2007, 12:02:34 AM »
This is not exactly a request for admission to the list, but I would be delighted if minie was added.  The first time it got rejected, I decided it was because it is properly capitalized.  However, after it was rejected today, I found that it is frequently not capitalized, even in dictionaries.  The biggest obstacle that I can foresee is that I am not sure minie is ever used independently of the word ball.  Alan, you are the decider.

Just as an aside, I found a minie ball when I was digging in my garden one summer.  There was a lot of Civil War action in Virginia, particularly in our area.  We have been given to understand that a spring in our backyard neighbor's yard was used by troop encampments (Union), and the hill just across the highway was the site of a skirmish.  After I found the minie ball, which I determined was of Union origin, a friend of my husband's went over our entire property with his metal detector.  Alas, all he found was the site where the former owners of our property burned their trash before this practice was outlawed in our community.

Words / Sans
« on: August 23, 2007, 05:00:42 AM »
GAGL, I'm playing a random puzzle and find that "sans" is not accepted.  This is a fine old Shakespearean word frequently used today without italics.  Shouldn't this be on the approved list?

Say Hello / Hello, a non-amos
« on: August 15, 2007, 06:12:03 AM »
Poked around a little bit, discovered you are a fellow resident of the Old Dominion.  We stopped in Roanoke a couple of times while our daughter was at Tech, but they let her out about five years ago and we haven't been back.

In light of your interests, I hope you got the zymurgic word that was placed among the answers for the challenge puzzle yesterday -- just for you, no doubt.

Words / rogue_mother whinges -- a big NOOGIE for GAGL
« on: August 09, 2007, 11:56:22 PM »
I think I am resigned to the fact that there is a heavy British and Australian bias in the word list.  "Whinge" and "whinged" as *common* words earlier this week are clear evidence.  How about one for us Colonials?  I would like to suggest "noogie," a little easier to find documentation for than my previous suggestion, as noogies are widely known here on the North American continent.  Also known as a Dutch rub, a noogie is when someone grabs you in a head lock and vigorously rubs his knuckles on the top of your head.

Words / Decloak
« on: August 05, 2007, 06:17:47 AM »
I was somewhat dismayed that "decloak" was rejected by Chi.  Come on, Alan, even Klingons know what decloaking is!

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