Author Topic: The 'menopausal' 10-letter game  (Read 499 times)

mkenuk

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The 'menopausal' 10-letter game
« on: January 04, 2020, 08:22:47 PM »
I would like to nominate this game as the most difficult of all time.

1. There was only one rosette awarded - surely a new record.
2. Fewer than half of those taking part (130 from 273) found the seedword.
3. Five of the 'common' words 'pleonasm', 'neoplasm', 'alumnae', 'lumpen' and 'mausolea' were played by fewer than 30 of the 273 participants.

Personally, I enjoy games like this, demanding though they are.
Although I'm not convinced that any of the five words I have mentioned are really common, I did find three of them and missed two.
I don't think I've seen the word pleonasm since university* when we had to go through all those weird and wonderfully unpronouncable figures of speech: synecdoche, litotes, oxymoron and all the rest.

*I graduated in 1967!


« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 09:08:23 AM by mkenuk »

Dragonman

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Re: The 'menopausal' 10-letter game
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2020, 01:15:08 AM »
I agree, a demanding and challenging game.

NEOPLASM and PLEONASM both eluded me, if I ever even heard of them before.

Every days a schoolday.

Jacki

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Re: The 'menopausal' 10-letter game
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2020, 08:29:48 AM »
I too enjoy challenging games however when I spend my time trying to find those elusive common words that end up being anything but common it does both irk and educate me.
Live and learn. I do think that mausolea, neoplasm and pleonasm are certainly not common.

mkenuk

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Re: The 'menopausal' 10-letter game
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2020, 08:30:12 PM »
re mausolea and alumnae - most of the Latin plurals that used to be common in Chi - sterna, recta and termini, for example, have been reclassified; possibly the only reason mausolea and alumnae have survived so long is that they have never appeared in a game before now and so their 'commonness' has never been queried.

As for lumpen, is this word ever used except in the collocation 'lumpen proletariat', which is often written as a single word -lumpenproletariat?

neoplasm, like distal and statin, which have been under discussion recently, is probably familiar to those with a medical background, but I don't think that is grounds enough for making it common.

And  pleonasm;  if I hadn't seen it with my very eyes, I would never have believed it could be classed as common.




Dragonman

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Re: The 'menopausal' 10-letter game
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2020, 10:12:24 PM »


'' And  pleonasm;  if I hadn't seen it with my very eyes, I would never have believed it could be classed as common.''

Very clever, made me laugh.   :)

birdy

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Re: The 'menopausal' 10-letter game
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2020, 06:49:23 AM »
I would agree with all those "questionably common" words except alumnae.  As a graduate of a women's college, I see it frequently.  If alumni is common, I would think that alumnae should be too.  Google has about 42,900,000 results.  Not so rare.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 06:52:22 AM by birdy »

mkenuk

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Re: The 'menopausal' 10-letter game
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2020, 09:27:48 AM »
And yet it was played by only 26 from 273 in the menopausal game.

I wonder whether in these days of #MeToo , we shouldn't say that every graduate, male or female is an alumnus.
 >:D

Digressing slightly, I notice that the word actress has become slightly taboo and that the likes of Reece Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and so on now prefer to be known as actors.
Fine, fair enough. I have no problem with that. I honestly do believe that, in terms of contractual pay and conditions, they should be treated the same as men.

I also see, however, that at the annual prize-giving affairs such as the Golden Globes, the Academy Awards, the BAFTAs etc there continue to be separate 'Best Actor' and 'Best Actress' awards. Surely that will have to change?


pat

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Re: The 'menopausal' 10-letter game
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2020, 10:28:34 AM »

Fine, fair enough. I have no problem with that. I honestly do believe that, in terms of contractual pay and conditions, they should be treated the same as men.


As should women in all walks of life who do the same job as men, as I'm sure you agree. It was one of my bugbears through most of my working life. It was only when I was promoted above men doing the same work that my pay got to equal theirs.

birdy

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Re: The 'menopausal' 10-letter game
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2020, 05:18:23 PM »
And yet it was played by only 26 from 273 in the menopausal game.

I wonder whether in these days of #MeToo , we shouldn't say that every graduate, male or female is an alumnus.
 >:D

#MeToo is about sexual assault/rape/sexual harassment/molestation etc. rather than differentiation of gender terms.  Maybe you were thinking about the movement to degender (is this a word?) pronouns - using they, them, and their rather than he/she, him/her, and his/her, in this age of gender fluidity.

I don't see how changing a much-used word to the male form is an improvement.  If you were to suggest that we use the non-genderized (again, is this a word?) shortened form "alum," I would have no problem with that. I am surprised that so many players missed alumnae, though.

Best Actor/Best Actress doesn't bother me.  That might be because I don't pay much attention to the awards, since I don't go to that many movies, and don't watch much TV.  It doesn't bother me either when a dog wins "Best of Show" and another is chosen "Best of Opposite Sex."

mkenuk

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Re: The 'menopausal' 10-letter game
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2020, 10:49:15 PM »

#MeToo is about sexual assault/rape/sexual harassment/molestation etc. rather than differentiation of gender terms. 

Quite right, Birdy. I stand corrected.

I don't have any evidence, but I do suspect that the words alumnus and alumni, while far from being unknown in UK, are much more common in the US.
For example, I would never describe myself as an alumnus of St X's school or of the University of Y.
When I was teaching in UK the usual terms were OBs (old boys), OGs (old girls) or, more commonly, FPs (former pupils) when referring to people who had attended a school and graduate for someone who had successfully completed a course of study at a college or university.
Alumnus would have sounded a bit formal, possibly even a little pretentious. Alumna was very rare indeed.

birdy

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Re: The 'menopausal' 10-letter game
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2020, 01:57:57 PM »
I suspect that the words alumnus and alumni, while far from being unknown in UK, are much more common in the US.
For example, I would never describe myself as an alumnus of St X's school or of the University of Y.
When I was teaching in UK the usual terms were OBs (old boys), OGs (old girls) or, more commonly, FPs (former pupils) when referring to people who had attended a school and graduate for someone who had successfully completed a course of study at a college or university.
Alumnus would have sounded a bit formal, possibly even a little pretentious. Alumna was very rare indeed.

I have seen the UK terms "old boys" but not "old girls" (logical - just one I haven't seen).  But when I've seen the "old boys," it's usually in the context of "old boys network," implying favoritism toward those who attended the same school.  I wouldn't usually describe myself as an alumna either, except maybe in the context of a campus reunion of some sort.  I think we'd be more likely to say, "I graduated in [year] or I was in the class of [year]."  I believe I've seen both alumnus and alumna more often in writing than in speech.