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. :)

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) – Isolated 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.”  :)

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.  :)

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? :) )

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.  :)

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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