Author Topic: word suggestion...after a long time  (Read 2633 times)

technomc

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word suggestion...after a long time
« on: August 06, 2013, 06:11:16 PM »
Hi all, hope you have all been keeping well.. I wondered, after yesterdays challenge, whether DREGS could be considered? i.e. as in coffee dregs, dregs of society.....you can't have one dreg, can you?

pat

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Re: word suggestion...after a long time
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 06:47:32 PM »
That's it, T, come sidling back in from nowhere and make work for Alan!  >:D

How the devil are you? Long time no see.

Morbius

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Re: word suggestion...after a long time
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 08:53:47 PM »
According to Chi, you can have one dreg.  Dreg is a word that comes up fairly often.  I'd agree, though, that dregs is not usually considered to be a plural when used in the ways cited by technomc, so it should count as a common word. 

Does dreg have another meaning?

Gaye Christine

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Re: word suggestion...after a long time
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2013, 10:29:26 PM »
Funnily enough my oldest dictionary (Cassell's 1956) uses the singular, no mention of dregs.

Merriam-Webster says it comes from Norse "dregg", earliest use 14th century.  Perhaps it started as singular
and at some point became plural?

I also saw a usage in the singular "not a dreg of pity".

Alan W

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Re: word suggestion...after a long time
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 11:56:36 PM »
It's good to hear from you, T, even if it is with one of those dreaded "you can't have one ---- can you?" propositions.

I'll get back to you on that.
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rogue_mother

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Re: word suggestion...after a long time
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2013, 12:23:03 AM »
It's great to hear from T, as always. She's being a little coy, perhaps, since she's brought this topic up a couple of times before. Alan addressed the existence of dreg as a singular in this earlier discussion. He left open the question as to whether dregs could be accepted. T has been very patient on this one!
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Alan W

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Re: word suggestion...after a long time
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2013, 05:49:12 PM »
As RM says, dregs has been suggested twice before - both times by you, T. See here and here.

I'm sorry to say that you may be addicted to dregs.

The first time the issue was raised, I found that the singular word dreg is used quite often.

Quote
Shakespeare in fact used the singular form of the word: "What too curious dreg espies my sweet lady in the fountain of our love?" (Troilus and Cressida). And many other writers since then have used dreg:

  • "but one dreg of shame" - Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
  • "if you have not a dreg of passion in you" - John Buchan, Salute to Adventurers
  • "a brandy bottle with only a dreg of spirit in it" - Rider Haggard, Finished
  • "Every atom and dreg of it!" - Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure
  • "shyly ate their apple-sauce to the last dreg" - Sinclair Lewis, The Innocents

And it continues to be used, generally in a figurative sense. For example, a 1992 biography of Dustin Hoffman, by Ronald Bergan: "His main companion is the pathetic dreg of society, Ratso Rizzo." And Enoch Powell in Reflections of a Statesman: "Grenada was the last tiny but bitter dreg in the constitutional cup which the United Kingdom has drained in the past thirty-five years".

So I'm not convinced that dregs should be treated any differently from other plurals.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 05:54:20 PM by Alan W »
Alan Walker
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