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VETERAN

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VETERAN

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:19 pm

• veteran •


Pronunciation: ve-dê-rên • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A person with long service in some capacity, as a veteran salesman at the department store. 2. Someone who has served for any period in the Armed Services.

Notes: Today's Good Word may be used as an adjective with the same meaning as the noun, as in veteran salesman. This word does have a distant cousin, though, another adjective, inveterate "long-standing, established". Try to pronounce both the Es in veteran. Dropping unaccented vowels (syncope) is a process that occurs naturally in fast speech. Most English speakers tend to drop the second E and pronounce this word [vetrên]. Down South in the US, however, we often miss the A and pronounce it [vetêrn]. Nonetheless, at alphaDictionary we like to encourage careful, thoughtful speech, which tends to flow more slowly.

In Play: November 11 is Veterans Day, a national and state holiday in the US celebrating all those who have served in the military services. Veterans Day in the US was originally Armistice Day, celebrating the armistice (truce) ending World War I. It was signed at 11 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Armistice Day commenced on the same day in 1919. In 1954 President Eisenhower signed the bill that made November 11 (or the nearest Monday) officially Veterans Day, a day to celebrate the sacrifices of veterans of all wars in which the US participated.

Word History: Today's Good Word is a descendant of the Proto-Indo-European root wet- "year" or "many years". The meaning is unclear because Latin vitellus "calf" (English veal today) seems to have originally meant "yearling". However, vetus in the same language meant "old", and it is this root we see in veteran. Wether "gelded ram", an English word kept alive in bellwether, also comes from wet-. This word originally referred to the lead sheep in a herd that carried a bell about its neck for quick reference. (A gelded ram was chosen since he was more likely to stay ahead of the ewes.)
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Re: VETERAN

Postby Slava » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:32 am

On Veterans Day last year I was granted special dispensation by my local post office. This allowed me to create semi-historical covers, a word we philatelists use for envelopes.

I put 11 4-cent stamps on several envelopes and was allowed to have them cancelled, i.e. postmarked, on 11/11/11, which is actually a holiday and there is no mail on that day.

Here's the best one:
Kansas.jpg
Kansas.jpg (81.01 KiB) Viewed 1708 times

It's especially good as it is also the fiftieth anniversary of the stamp itself. A nice looking stamp, too.
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Re: VETERAN

Postby MTC » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:35 am

Make love not war on Veterans Day, at least in Korea.

According to WeirdAsiaNews:

"The date (11/11/11) was such a momentous occasion that expectant mothers in South Korea deliberately sought to make November 11, 2011 the birth date of their children.

Many pregnant women overwhelmed local hospitals with requests for Caesarean section delivery on that date. According to the media, these included those who were due even as much as a week after November 11.

The number of appointments for c-section births on this propitious date was 20 percent higher this year than in previous years.

“There are always people with due dates in January who want to deliver on the first of the month, but this seems more unusual — trying to set delivery so they can have the ID number 111111,” said one staffer at a maternity hospital.

South Korea honors November 11 as Pepero Day, or Sweetest Day, which is celebrated much like St. Valentine’s Day.

Its name derives from the Korean snack, Pepero, because the date 11/11 resembles five sticks of Pepero."

As a war-time veteran, a former senior adjudicator with the VA, and an attorney who has represented wounded veterans, I believe 11/11, Veterans Day should be followed by 11/12, "International Folly of War Day."

And by the way, the digital root of 111111 (sum of its digits) is 6, a perfect number (sum of its divisors.)
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Re: VETERAN

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:51 pm

Slava, that's neat! Why do the stamps appear cut in half vertically?

MTC - thanks for the Korean bit and the glimpse of your personal past. You seem to have. Distinguished yourself in ways beyond your facility with words.
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Re: VETERAN

Postby Slava » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:22 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:Slava, that's neat! Why do the stamps appear cut in half vertically?

Just use the scroll bar under the picture to see the rest. It doesn't fit in the message box as a whole picture.

You can also right click and select view image.
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Re: VETERAN

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:53 pm

belwether is an interesting word, which I'm
sure Doc has dealt with: it is in his final
paragraph.
There was a group of hermits (since surpressed by
Roman Church authorities here) who called
their establishment Bellwether for some reason.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: VETERAN

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:56 pm

The bellwether is the sheep (usually a ram) that leads the flock. He wears a bell so the shepherd can hear and find him. Wether is a Germanic word for ram (male sheep). Bellwether has theological significance and was probably used thusly by the hermits you spoke of, Luke. A person or a group who is called a bellwether is an example for others to follow, if not an actual leader.

Maude Aimee Humbard, a Christian leader of another generation, told Elvis Presley that he was the spiritual bellwether for the entertainment industry, assuring him that he had the spiritual maturity to keep his head and not let Hollywood detract him from his goals. Unfortunately, Elvis let his manager, Tom Parker, lead him into making C grade movies, ruining his health and a lot of respect he had generated from his amazing musical ability. I saw his first movie "Love Me Tender" which was of another genre than his beach-blanket junk. He sang the title song of that movie that has the “Love Me Tender” words to the Civil war tune of “Aura Lee.” If I didn’t know the song was written during the Civil War I would have placed it as an old Scottish or North England ballad. I never saw any other Elvis movies except in previews. Elvis is one of my favorite musicians. Remember, I am musically eclectic. No I don’t own a fluorescent picture of Elvis painted on black velvet. But what if I did?

We had a hermit in our community when I was a kid. He lived in a cave and children could visit him in the day-time. At night his cave turned into a high stakes poker parlor.
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Re: VETERAN

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:12 pm

Haven't I heard the term bellwether also applied to the leader of a herd of cows?
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Re: VETERAN

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:55 pm

You may have heard bellwether referring to cows, Perry, but I never have. In the past, farmers put bells around the necks of cows for the same purpose as a bellwether. This was usually for milk cows, I think. I don't believe it is in general practice now. We never used any bells for our beef cattle. I am familiar with horse bells but I think they were used for finding individual horses. Finding cattle reminds me of a poem I love, "The Sands of Dee." My mother recited it to me many times when I was a lad. It is a sad and dark poem but it has a beauty in it. The Dee Estuary is indeed a place one wants to avoid when the tide comes in. I spent a short time on the Dee in Wales and England.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: VETERAN

Postby MTC » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:47 am

The Church appears to have failed in its effort to "hermetically seal" The Hermit Intercessors of the Lamb, referred to earlier by Luke. According to Wikipedia the group, aka the "Bellwethers," "was a Roman Catholic Association of priests, brothers, nuns, and lay people, based in Nebraska, United States...suppressed by Omaha Archbishop George Joseph Lucas in 2010." See
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intercessors_of_the_Lamb)
However, reports of the Bellwethers' demise are premature as a visit to their vital website discloses. (See http://www.bellwetheromaha.org/) Pictures and text combine to present an idyllic image except for a jarring call to arms in the "Spiritual Warfare Workshop." But then that might be expected given the Church's assault.

As for the Dee Estuary, it is a site of poetic inspiration. To Dylan Thomas it was the "heron-priested shore," the place where he spent his final years.
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Re: VETERAN

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:18 pm

Thank you, MTC, for mentioning Dylan Thomas and his love for the Dee Estuary. He was one of our most gifted poets.

Whether the Bellwethers are or were, they seem to be a Roman Catholic retreat organization that encourages lay participation. Some of our Baptist pastors and laymen have participated in similar Roman Catholic retreats. The concept of Spiritual Warfare is not so named to indicate physical war but to underline the seriousness of the Christian life. It is used throughout the Christian world to get people involved in personal piety, good works and Christian witness. The Apostle Paul said, "We wrestle not with flesh and blood..." (Ephesians 6:12).

Not belonging to a church with an authoritarian leadership, I do not understand the mechanics of the Roman Catholic Church. But I hope it is used wisely.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: VETERAN

Postby MTC » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:35 pm

Thank you, Philip, for the Christian insight.

Poem in October by Dylan Thomas

It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
And the mussel pooled and the heron
Priested shore
The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
Myself to set foot
That second
In the still sleeping town and set forth.

My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
Above the farms and the white horses
And I rose
In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
Over the border
And the gates
Of the town closed as the town awoke.

A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
Blackbirds and the sun of October
Summery
On the hill's shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened
To the rain wringing
Wind blow cold
In the wood faraway under me.

Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
With its horns through mist and the castle
Brown as owls
But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
There could I marvel
My birthday
Away but the weather turned around.

It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky
Streamed again a wonder of summer
With apples
Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
Through the parables
Of sun light
And the legends of the green chapels

And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
These were the woods the river and sea
Where a boy
In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
And the mystery
Sang alive
Still in the water and singingbirds.

And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true
Joy of the long dead child sang burning
In the sun.
It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
O may my heart's truth
Still be sung
On this high hill in a year's turning.
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Re: VETERAN

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:01 pm

Thanks for the Bellwether sites.
None of them are wearing their old religious 'habits', but
seem to be going strong, if the pictures are accurate.
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Re: VETERAN

Postby MTC » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:29 pm

You mean they've kicked the habit!?

DSM V definition of Chronic Paronomasia (punning):

Chronic mental condition characterized by compulsive punning and wordplay. Etiology unknown, but onset correlates with sustained boredom or brain trauma. Subjects typically have issues with authority. Studies show a positive correlation with creativity and intelligence. No known cure, but the literature records rare instances of spontaneous remission.
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Re: VETERAN

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:45 pm

Guilty as charged, however I am seldom acquainted with boredom!
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