escutcheon

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
Philip Hudson
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escutcheon

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:17 pm

While discussing adumbrate, MTC noted: “Edward's Nazi connections are a blot on the English escutcheon.” I suggest escutcheon as a Good Word. Being from “the working class”, I have always known this word as defining certain parts of an assemblage that formed a covering or shield. We had escutcheons where pipes came out of a wall, escutcheons covering the wiring in an electrical switch box and in numerous places around the house. Frequently the word is shortened to scutcheon. I also learned some definitions I shall not discuss here. Later I learned about the literal meaning of a decorative or heraldic shield. I was well into life before I learned it to be a symbolic shield or emblem of honour. I find many words whose definitions I learned piecemeal. Is that a common way of learning a word?
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

Perry Lassiter
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Re: escutcheon

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:49 pm

I think we learn words lots of ways. This forum has corrected or sharpened my usage of a number of words. I can't say it makes me more conscious of words, for I have always been ultra conscious. Even when speaking from a pulpit, lectern, or conversation, I automatically choose words, avoiding repeating the same word too close to its first use, choosing and simpler word or adding explication, etc. i obviously think faster than I speak.

We also learn by correction. I think I already posted somewhere that when I first heard Jose Iturbe on the radio, I commented, "that guy is no novice." I had read in a Dave Dawson novel that "the pilot was no novice and stuck to his guns." My assumption was that novice meant amateur or plodder. My uncle corrected me that he was a novice, having newly appeared to the public.

Studying other languages also give insight, both in etymology and alternate ways of expression.
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