Monday, October 1, 2012

What is Bdelygmia? (del-lig-mia the B is silent)

What is Bdelygmia? (del-lig-mia the B is silent)

Bdelygmia is a sequence or a ranting of abusive phrases or statements indicating a violent opposition to something or someone.
Cigarettes are a filthy, horrible, disgusting habit. They pollute the air and poison children. Their purveyors are evil, wicked and mendacious promoters of death.
How to Rant Using Bdelygmia

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Language Hippie: Someone asked me about 'singular they,' and this i...

Language Hippie: Someone asked me about 'singular they,' and this i...: If you are a native speaker of English, it's very likely that nothing in the title of this post struck you as unusual -- and yet, it contain...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The 100 Most Beautiful Words in English by Robert Beard

AilurophileA cat-lover .AssemblageA gathering. BecomingAttractive. BeleaguerTo exhaust with attacks. BroodTo think alone. BucolicIn a lovely rural setting. BungalowA small, cozy cottage. ChatoyantLike a cat's eye. ComelyAttractive. ConflateTo blend together. CynosureA focal point of admiration. DallianceA brief love affair. DemesneDominion, territory. DemureShy and reserved. DenouementThe resolution of a mystery. DesuetudeDisuse. DesultorySlow, sluggish. DiaphanousFilmy. DissembleDeceive. DulcetSweet, sugary. EbullienceBubbling enthusiasm. EffervescentBubbly. EfflorescenceFlowering, blooming. ElisionDropping a sound or syllable in a word. ElixirA good potion. EloquenceBeauty and persuasion in speech. EmbrocationRubbing on a lotion. EmollientA softener. EphemeralShort-lived. EpiphanyA sudden revelation. ErstwhileAt one time, for a time. EtherealGaseous, invisible but detectable. EvanescentVanishing quickly, lasting a very short time. EvocativeSuggestive. FetchingPretty. FelicityPleasantness. ForbearanceWithholding response to provocation. FugaciousFleeting. FurtiveShifty, sneaky. GambolTo skip or leap about joyfully. GlamourBeauty. GossamerThe finest piece of thread, a spider's silk HalcyonHappy, sunny, care-free. HarbingerMessenger with news of the future. ImbricationOverlapping and forming a regular pattern. ImbroglioAn altercation or complicated situation. ImbueTo infuse, instill. IncipientBeginning, in an early stage. IneffableUnutterable, inexpressible. IngénueA naïve young woman. InglenookA cozy nook by the hearth. InsoucianceBlithe nonchalance. Inure To become jaded. LabyrinthineTwisting and turning. LagniappeA special kind of gift. LagoonA small gulf or inlet. LanguorListlessness, inactivity. LassitudeWeariness, listlessness. LeisureFree time. LiltTo move musically or lively. LissomeSlender and graceful. LitheSlender and flexible. LoveDeep affection. MellifluousSweet sounding. MoietyOne of two equal parts. MondegreenA slip of the ear. MurmurousMurmuring.  NemesisAn unconquerable arch enemy.Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore. OnomatopoeiaA word that sounds like its meaning. OpulentLush, luxuriant. PalimpsestA manuscript written over earlier ones. PanaceaA solution for all problems  PanoplyA complete set. PasticheAn art work combining materials from various sources.PenumbraA half-shadow. PetrichorThe smell of earth after rain. PlethoraA large quantity. PropinquityAn inclination. PyrrhicSuccessful with heavy losses.QuintessentialMost essential .RatatouilleA spicy French stew. RavelTo knit or unknit. RedolentFragrant. RiparianBy the bank of a stream. RippleA very small wave. ScintillaA spark or very small           thing.SempiternalEternal.SeraglioRich, luxurious oriental palace or harem.SerendipityFinding something nice while looking for something else.SummeryLight, delicate or warm and sunny. SumptuousLush, luxurious. SurreptitiousSecretive, sneaky. SusquehannaA river in Pennsylvania. SusurrousWhispering, hissing.TalismanA good luck charm.TintinnabulationTinkling. UmbrellaProtection from sun or rain. UntowardUnseemly, inappropriate. VestigialIn trace amounts. WaftureWaving. WherewithalThe means.WoebegoneSorrowful, downcast.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"Aladdin" by James Russell Lowell

"Aladdin" by James Russell Lowell

I had to memorize the poem, ALADDIN, in the 7th grade. It has remained with me since "I was a beggarly boy" At this stage of my life, I can truly identify with the poem's theme.

When I was a beggarly boy
And lived in a cellar damp,
I had not a friend nor a toy,
But I had Aladdin's lamp;

When I could not sleep for the cold,
I had fire enough in my brain,
And builded, with roofs of gold,
My beautiful castles in Spain!

Since then I have toiled day and night,
I have money and power good store,
But I'd give all my lamps of silver bright
For the one that is mine no more;

Take, Fortune, whatever you choose,
You gave, and may snatch again;
I have nothing 'twould pain me to lose,
For I own no more castles in Spain!

[The end]


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

50 Important Facts You Probably Forgot Between 5th Grade and College

50 Important Facts You Probably Forgot Between 5th Grade and College
There are a lot of fun-filled and educational years between grade school and heading off to college, providing ample opportunity to forget some of the most basic lessons you learned as a child. Here are some facts and tips that will help you refresh your memory and bring back some of that important information that can help you boost your trivia knowledge or even perform better in your college studies.


These facts will remind you of proper grammar, punctuation and structure.

Is it the "i" or the "e" first? This is a spelling question that troubles even the best spellers out there from time to time. The old rule "i before e except after c" will help you sometimes, but not in all cases. Some important addendums should include "or when sounded like a, like neighbor and weigh" and the rule should be dropped altogether when -c sounds like -sh, like in species.
How is a paper organized? Being able to organize an essay, research project or story is an essential part to doing well in any area of academics. While there are, of course, many subtleties, a paper should start with an introductory paragraph containing a thesis–the most important part of any essay. After this, each paragraph should have a main idea followed by information that expands on and explains these ideas. At the end, work should be tied up with a conclusion paragraph. It sounds basic, but many students let their writing become sloppier as they go along or never develop these strong fundamentals in the first place.
Which is the subject and which is the object? If you don’t remember which part of the sentence is which, you’re not alone. In most basic terms, you can remember that the subject is the part of the sentence that is doing something, while the object is the thing that is having something done to it. This can be helpful to know when learning a language besides English, as well.
What is a pronoun? Most of us know what a noun is, but do you recall what a pronoun is? Pronouns are the words that take the place of nouns in a sentence including I, she, he it, you, we and they. Using these correctly may get a bit trickier but you can find a guide here.
What is a homonym, antonym and a synonym. A homonym is a group of words that appear to be the same but actually have different meanings or pronunciations. An antonym refers to a word that is the opposite in meaning from another word. A synonym is a word that means the same or similar as another word.
What is the correct way to use commas? Commas aren’t alone in often being used incorrectly. Semi-colons, hyphens and colons are frequently used incorrectly as well. If you find it hard to remember to use these elements of speech correctly, reference a guide like this until you can commit it to memory.
What’s the difference between its and it’s? Find yourself often mixing these two up? You’re certainly not alone but there’s an easy way to remember which is the right word for the situation. Simply remind yourself that "it’s" is a contraction of the words "it is." If the expanded form of those words doesn’t make sense in your sentence, then you know to use "its" rather than "it’s".
How can you tell if a sentence is too long or too short? Sentences can either be a run-on or a fragment. You can determine if your sentence is a run-on by simply turning it into a yes or no question. If it makes sense, you’re doing ok. If not, you need to add some kind of conjunction or separate it into two sentences. A fragment on the other hand is simply an incomplete sentence that doesn’t make sense on it’s own. You can usually fix these by adding them back onto the main sentence to which they refer.
What are a verse, stanza and paragraph? If you can’t answer this question, it might be a good idea to refresh your memory on how writing is organized. In most cases, a verse is a single line of poetry, though more loosely it is a series of words arranged metrically. A stanza is a group of these verses, usually composed of four or more that work together in a poem or a song. A paragraph, on the other hand, is a division within a written work that focuses on a particular idea found in prose rather than poetic works.
What things need to be capitalized? While you’re probably aware that things like names, titles and other proper nouns need to be capitalized, are you aware of what parts of a book title should be capitalized or whether or not to capitalize the names of the seasons? Here you’ll find information on just about everything you should or shouldn’t put into caps.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Grammar Gurus and Muphry's Law

Richard's Grammar & Composition Blog
By Richard Nordquist, Guide to Grammar & Composition

Grammar Gurus and Muphry's Law
Friday October 30, 2009

Before commenting (in sorrow or with glee) on the apparent misspelling in today's headline, please read to the end of the post.

Self-appointed guardians of the language go by various titles: grammar gurus, language mavens, usage police. What most have in common is a compulsion to point out the linguistic shortcomings of others and bemoan the sorry state of the English language--whether they know what they're talking about or not.

As Professor David Crystal demonstrates in The Fight for English: How Language Pundits Ate, Shot, and Left (Oxford University Press, 2007), such lamentations have been heard since the days of Aelfric the Grammarian, a thousand years ago. In a spirit of "zero tolerance," these crusaders denounce the perceived foibles and infelicities of other English speakers--or "idiots" as they often prefer to call them.

Recently, a columnist for The New York Observer spotted a redundancy in the sports pages of The New York Times: "The Czechs played the way they can; the Americans reverted halfway back toward 1990 when they were drubbed, 5-1." The columnist snarled and pounced:

We all know that the verb "reverted" contains the direction "back" in it. To add "back" is thoroughly redundant. . . . To return is to turn back. Adding the word "back" may appear to solidify your meaning but it only exposes your ignorance.
To which an even more observant reader replied:

Now, we all know that the verb "contains" already contains the meaning "in it." To add "in it," as Phil does, is thoroughly redundant. Adding the phrase "in it" may appear to solidify your meaning but it only exposes your ignorance.
A perfect illustration of Muphry's Law: the principle that any criticism of the speech or writing of others will itself contain at least one error of usage or spelling.

Trust me: anyone who assumes the role of grammar guru better be prepared for nit-picking rejoinders. And now please feel free to comment.

More About Grammar and Usage:

What Is Grammar?
What Is a Snoot?
Language Maven
Image: The Fight for English: How Language Pundits Ate, Shot, and Left, by David Crystal. Oxford University Press, 2007

Saturday, August 29, 2009

12 Keys to Greater Self-Awareness
Leading Blog
There is no evidence to suggest that any species of animals other than humans come pre-packaged with a set of mechanisms for self-awareness. The degree to which we develop and use that capacity, in a constructive way, will largely determine our success in life.
Self-awareness is where leadership development begins. Self-management and authenticity flow from self-awareness. Self-awareness can be divided into four parts: what is known to us and others, what is known to others but not by us, what we know and others don’t and what we don’t know and others don’t either. Plumbing the depths of self-awareness takes time and more intensive tactics. However, our biggest gain in self-improvement can be had by finding out what others know that we don’t. And they know more than we think.
Here are twelve keys to greater self-awareness:
Stop blaming others for your choices. It’s you.
Take a personality assessment to help you gain some perspective.
Get feedback from as many significant people in your life as you can. This can be uncomfortable for both you and them, but it is the fastest method for gaining a better picture of yourself. (Make them feel safe. It's a big, unknown risk for them!)
Get a coach or mentor. They don't have to know more than you. They just have to see you in action and help you to be a better you. You're not as hard to figure out (complicated) as you would like to think.
Understand that your biggest irritations look a lot like you.
Look beneath your behavior to reveal your assumptions and filters. They dictate how you see yourself and others and impact how you relate to them.
Look at your roadblocks. Learn to separate facts from your interpretations of them.
A lot of negative interactions signal a selfish approach to life.
Reflect daily on your behavior. Ask questions like: How do I handle difficulties? What do I think or do when I don’t get my own way? How adaptive am I? Can I control my emotions? Do I tend to say what I’m thinking when I’m thinking it? Do I judge other people and create conflict? How do others relate to me?
Organize your thoughts in a journal. It is one of the best ways to capture what is going on around you and inside you. Make a note of the causal remarks people make about you.
Read books and go to seminars that help you rethink your assumptions and address your problem areas and blind spots.
Words mean a lot. Your language reflects your thinking and attitudes.
Your thinking and the behavior that flows from that has brought you to where you are now. You=2 0are in control of developing the thinking and behavior that will take you where you want to go. Self–awareness is difficult. We don’t always like to admit things about ourselves because we don’t like the guilt associated with not doing what we know we should. But admit we must if we are to grow. Ask yourself, “In light of where I come from, what do I need to know about myself?”
Warren Bennis wrote, “It is one of the paradoxes of life that good leaders rise to the top in spite of their weaknesses, while bad leaders rise because of their weakness….We are our own raw material. Only when we know what we are made of and what we want to make of it can we begin our lives—and we must do it despite an unwitting conspiracy of people and events against us.” It is a lifelong and rewarding journey.

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