Word of the Day and the Use of the English Language

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Vito Simplicio
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Re: Word of the Day and the Use of the English Language

Post by Vito Simplicio » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:01 am

logomachy

noun | loh-GAH-muh-kee

Definition

1 : a dispute over or about words
2 : a controversy marked by verbiage

Did You Know?

It doesn't take much to start people arguing about words, but there's no quarrel about the origin of logomachy. It comes from the Greek roots logos, meaning "word" or "speech," and machesthai, meaning "to fight," and it entered English in the mid-1500s. If you're a word enthusiast, you probably know that logos is the root of many English words (monologue, neologism, logic, and most words ending in -logy, for example), but what about other derivatives of machesthai? Actually, this is a tough one even for word whizzes. Only a few very rare English words come from machesthai. Here are two of them: heresimach ("an active opponent of heresy and heretics") and naumachia ("an ancient Roman spectacle representing a naval battle").

Example of LOGOMACHY

"Not that anyone could accuse this city of lacking logophiles—that's 'lovers of words,' if you have to ask. But where could word warriors go to engage in spirited logomachy?"
— Ron Fletcher, The Boston Globe, 29 Apr. 2007

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Re: Word of the Day and the Use of the English Language

Post by Vito Simplicio » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:22 am

blench

verb | BLENCH

Definition: to draw back or turn aside from lack of courage : flinch

Did You Know?

If a stranger approaches you in a dark alley, it might cause you to blench. Do you flinch or turn white? Actually, you could do both, and both would be considered blenching because there are two separate verbs spelled "blench" in English. The blench that means "to flinch" derives from blencan, an Old English word meaning "to deceive." The blench meaning "to turn white" is an alteration of blanch, from the French adjective blanc ("white"). Clues to which meaning is intended can often be found in context. The "flinch" use, for example, is strictly intransitive and often followed by from or at ("blenched from the sight of blood"; "didn’t blench at the sound of thunder"). The "whiten" use, meanwhile, can be intransitive ("his skin blenched with terror") or transitive ("the cold blenched her lips").

Examples of BLENCH

"I blenched when my son first introduced me to the initials IRL, meaning In Real Life, as opposed to the online world where he and his generation spend so much of their time."
— Allison Pearson, The Daily Telegraph (London), 26 Apr. 2017

"If you're a responsible teacher, you talk to your students about money. You say: most novelists earn around £5,000 a year from their writing. You watch them blench. You say: so if you're going to do this, you have to think about how you're going to support yourself."
— Naomi Alderman, quoted in The Guardian, 15 Mar. 2014

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Re: Word of the Day and the Use of the English Language

Post by Andrew Fryer » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:14 am

1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

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Re: Word of the Day and the Use of the English Language

Post by Vito Simplicio » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:36 am

mnemonic

adjective | nih-MAH-nik

Definition

1 : assisting or intended to assist memory; also : of or relating to a technique of improving the memory
2 : of or relating to memory

Did You Know?

The word mnemonic derives from the Greek mnēmōn ("mindful"), which itself comes from the verb mimnēskesthai, meaning "to remember." (In classical mythology, Mnemosyne, the mother of the Muses, is the goddess of memory.) In addition to its adjectival use, mnemonic is also a noun meaning "a mnemonic device," and the plural from mnemonics is used in the sense of "a technique of improving the memory." As with many classical borrowings, we retained the double initial consonant, but not the pronunciation of both, since the combination doesn't occur naturally in English (pneumonia is a similar case). If this spelling strikes you as particularly fiendish to remember, keep this mnemonic in mind: although the word's pronunciation begins with an n sound, the spelling begins with an m, as in memory.

Examples of MNEMONIC

James taught his students the mnemonic sentence "King Philip Came Over For Good Spaghetti" to help them remember the levels of biological classification (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species).

"Let's illustrate this point with a simple exercise using the elementary school mnemonic 'Every Good Boy Deserves Fun.' Teachers use this tool to help students learn the letters of the musical staff: EGBDF."
— Richard Klasco and Lewis H. Glinert, The Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2018

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Re: Word of the Day and the Use of the English Language

Post by amezcua » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:04 pm

Mnemonic for Rhythm. Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move .

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Re: Word of the Day and the Use of the English Language

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:30 pm

Beag is an Anglo-Saxon word for ring (with a gemstone - beag can also mean a kind of crown, which must refer to the gemstone). It is cognate with the Dutch bagge which gave the French their word bague (as opposed to anneau - a ring without a gem). The same Germanic word via Old and Middle High German and then Yiddish, gives us the word bagel.

I guess Anglo-Saxon hring is cognate both with ring and kringel (both words modern German).
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