Friday Funny-Sounding Words (funny sounding to me, that is :)

Greetings and Salutations!

I know I have been absent from this blog for quite some time. I offer you my humble apologies. I have been sick off and on¬†for what seems like forever. The good news is, though, I am feeling much better lately! Now let’s go hunt down some Friday Funny-Sounding Words!

My first choice for a funny-sounding word today is malapropism. This word has always made me chuckle. It’s a great word for me, too. Know why? It’s a noun meaning the misuse of a word! Told you it was perfect for me.ūüôā

Funny-sounding word Number 2 for today is interregnum. To me, this sounds like a noise your stomach makes! However, it means, literally, inter regnum or Latin for “between the reign.” The oh-fish-shul definition is the period between the end of a reign and the beginning of the next; a time when there is no government. I still think it sounds like your stomach is growling!

My last funny-sounding word for today is another long-term favorite of mine: doppelganger. This one just rolls off the tongue and, yes, it makes me giggle. Do you have a doppelganger? They say everyone does. A doppelganger is a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person. So if anyone’s told you there is someone out there who is the spitting image of you, you, my friend, have a doppelganger!

There will be much more to come in future entries. A lot is happening in my life and most of it has to do with my favorite subject. . . WORDS!

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Published in: on October 18, 2007 at 11:04 pm  Comments (5)  

That Means WHAT?

Did you ever look at a word, swear you know what it means and find out differently later on?¬† Hopefully, you didn’t use that word in the wrong context before you found out.

Try these on for size!

BOOTLESS

That’s easy.¬† It means no boots, right?¬† Look again.

bootless \BOOT-lis\ (adjective) – Unavailing; useless; without advantage or benefit.

In a sentence:¬† Swimming upstream is bootless effort unless you’re a salmon.

Or how about. . .

BUTTE

No, that’s not butt or booty.¬† Then what is it?

butte \byoot\ (noun) РIsolated hill rising abruptly from the surrounding area, having steep sides and a flat top.  From French butte (mound).

In a sentence:¬†¬† New Mexico’s many buttes are just a small portion of the inherent beauty of that state.

 And now for my favorite. . .

PIGSNEY (ewwwwwwwwwww) And, no, it is not the knee joint of a pig in an antiquated spelling!  Get this. . .

Pigsney¬† (1) A sweetheart¬† (2) An eye, especially a small one. From Middle English piggesnye (pig’s eye). I know Valentine’s Day¬†has passed, but can you just imagine whispering this in your sweetheart’s ear? “Come away with me, my little pigsney.”¬†ūüôā

Look around you.¬† I’ll bet you can find lots of words that don’t mean what they look like they should mean.¬† In the meantime, go dazzle your friends with your new words.

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Inspired Editing & Proofreading That Lets YOU Shine Through!

Published in: on February 21, 2007 at 10:30 am  Comments (2)  

Monday Fun Day!

It’s Monday.¬† I thought we should have some fun today.¬† Besides, it’s a holiday and a lot of you are home from work.¬†ūüôā

I have often been asked, “Why are you so picky?¬† Why does it matter how you say things?¬†¬† People will know what you mean.”¬† Really?¬† Check out¬†these signs.¬† Everything is spelled correctly. The punctuation isn’t too bad.¬† When you stop giggling, can you tell me why the writer of the sign should have paid a little more attention to what he was writing?

In an office:
TOILET OUT OF ORDER…… PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW

In a London department store:
BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS

In an office:
AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD

Outside a secondhand shop:
WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING – BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?

Notice in health food shop window:
CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS

Spotted in a safari park:
ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR

Seen during a conference:
FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN’T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE 1ST FLOOR

On a repair shop door:
WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR – THE BELL DOESN’T WORK)

Happy President’s Day!

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Inspired Editing & Proofreading That Lets YOU Shine Through!

Published in: on February 19, 2007 at 10:30 am  Comments (2)  

Freaky Friday Words

It’s Friday!¬† (I can hear you cheering now.)¬†¬† That means it’s time for Freaky Friday Words!¬† What are Freaky Friday Words?¬† They are words that your author feels sound funny, look funny¬†and/or¬†just plain get to¬†me for some reason or other.¬† LOL¬† As my weekend gift to you, I’m¬†going to give you three words you can amaze, dazzle and confound your friends with¬†at your parties and get-togethers.¬†¬† Here we go. . .

The first word is USUFRUCT.¬†¬† Isn’t that some word?¬† Here’s the skinny on USUFRUCT:

USUFRUCT¬† (yoo ze frukt)–the legal right to fully use something that belongs to another as long as it is not damaged or destroyed.¬†

USUFRCTUARY is both the adjective form and means one who owns such property.

On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t¬†show off to¬†your friends with this one.¬† They will be into your stuff big time!

Now this one sounds like something it surely isn’t!¬†

AFFLATUS (uh-FLAY-tuhs)–A divine imparting of knowledge; inspiration.

Afflatus is from Latin afflatus, past participle of afflare, “to blow at or breathe on,” from ad-, “at” + flare, “to puff, to blow.” Other words with the same root include deflate (de-, “out of” + flare); inflate (in-, “into” + flare); souffle, the “puffed up” dish (from French souffler, “to puff,” from Latin sufflare, “to blow from below,” hence “to blow up, to puff up,” from sub-, “below” + flare); and flatulent.¬† (Admit it.¬† You knew that one had to be in there somewhere, right?ūüôā )

And now for my favorite Freaky Friday word:

OGDOAD (og doe ad)–the number eight or a group or set of eight.

And I always thought the prefix for eight was “oct.”¬† You learn something new every day!¬† Just imagine telling your friends you’re stuck behind the “ogdoad ball.”¬† Hmmm. . .

I will search for more Freaky Friday words for next week.¬† Meanwhile, go practice using USUFRUCT, AFFLATUS and OGDOAD in a sentence so you’ll be ready to¬†impress your friends!

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(NOTE:¬† The definitions of Usufruct and Ogdoad are courtesy of Steven Fantina’s Word of the Day ezine.¬† You can sign up for your own copy at:¬† http://www.wordofthedaywebsite.com.¬†¬† The definition and derivation of Afflatus is from the Vocabulary ezine published by http://www.arcamax.com.¬† There are all types of ezines available at that site to increase your knowledge in many fields, not to mention some great cartoon strips!)

Published in: on February 16, 2007 at 9:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Homophone: New Word For An Old Nemesis

So what’s a Homophone?¬† You may know them better as Homonyms.¬†¬†¬†Homonym literally means “same name,”¬†as derived from the Greek. ¬†Homophone means “same sound.”¬† Merriam-Webster defines Homophone as “one of two or more words pronounced alike but different in meaning or derivation or spelling (as the words to, too and two).¬†”¬† Homophone is a more accurate description of what these words really are.

Why do these words get us into trouble?¬† Simple.¬† A spell checker won’t help you if you use the wrong word and you spell it correctly!¬† Prime example:¬† Its vs. It’s.¬† “Its” is a possessive adjective.¬† “It’s” is a contraction of the words “It + is” or “It + has.”¬† Most people think “It’s” is a possesive because other possessives are formed with an apostrophe.¬† It can get confusing.¬†

Look at the example in the Merriam-Webster definition:¬† To, Too and Two.¬† What’s the difference?¬† “To” is a preposition used to indicate movement, action or condition.¬† “Too” is an adverb meaning also or besides.¬†¬†“Two” is the number 2.¬† Does it matter?¬† Oh, yeah!

Another common mistake is made with¬†there, their and they’re.¬† “There” is an adverb meaning in or at that place.¬† “Their” is an adjective¬†meaning of or relating to them or themselves (plural) especially as possessors, agents or objects of an action.¬† “They’re” is a contraction of the words “They + are.”¬† Like “It’s,” the form with the apostrophe is only for the contraction, NOT the possessive.

What are some of your favorite homophones?¬† Don’t have any?¬† That’s okay.¬† You will see lots of them on this blog.¬† Stay tuned!

This Day In History:¬† In 1929, in what became known as the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,” gunmen believed to be working for Prohibition-era crime lord Al Capone killed seven members of the rival George “Bugs” Moran gang in a Chicago garage.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

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Published in: on February 14, 2007 at 8:05 am  Comments (1)  

Congradulations, A Word Aptly Written!

The reaction to the new site has been fantastic.¬† Many, many wonderful notes have come in with the above message.¬†¬† Hey, wait a minute.¬† What’s wrong with this picture?¬† Did the Editor in Chief really write that title up there?¬†¬†Does she know¬†how to spell?¬† Well, yes, she does.¬† Did you know that spelling CONGRATULATIONS with a “D” as in C-O-N-G-R-A-D-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S is one of the most common spelling mistakes you will see on the net?¬†¬† It’s not only on the net either, folks.¬† You should have seen me the day I drove by my son’s middle school a few years ago and right there, on their front signboard, in 6″ high letters, for all the world to see was this:¬†

CONGRADULATIONS TO THE TEACHER OF THE YEAR!

I slammed on my brakes and just stared.¬† This was a school, a school where my kid was attending!¬† I stormed into that principal’s office and, suffice it to say, they do not spell CONGRATULATIONS with a “D” any longer.¬†ūüôā

Stay tuned for more common spelling mistakes and other writing faux pas on Wednesday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ABRAHAM LINCOLN!

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Published in: on February 12, 2007 at 7:58 am  Comments (1)  

Happy Birthday, A Word Aptly Written!

My New Web Site

Today, February 11, 2007, marks the beginning of my new venture, A Word Aptly Written, Inspired Editing & Proofing.  This blog will endeavor to give you tips and tricks with my favorite thing, words.   The tips will come both from me and from a host of learned others. 

I have loved words since I was a child.¬† I was the kid who always won the spelling bees and scored the hundreds on English tests. (Math was quite another story!)¬† I was a voracious reader, gobbling up book after book after book from the time I can remember.¬† For the past thirteen years I have worked almost exclusively with words, transcribing, editing, proofing and helping people write more effectively.¬† I had often thought of turning this into my life’s work, but the time never seemed right; that is, until I was requested to edit my first book.¬† It was a magical experience and I knew I was finally hooked. A Word Aptly Written was born in my¬†brain that day.¬†¬† Today, with the launching of my web site, it is born for all to see!¬†¬†

Watch for my first¬†entry tomorrow, Monday, February 12th (Abe Lincoln’s birthday).¬† Then check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for my adventures in the world of words.

Published in: on February 11, 2007 at 4:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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