Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
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Postby sardith » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:56 pm

I'm watching a Sam Peckinpah western with my hubby, and a am sure that I heard the Colonel use the word, 'ordinance', in reference to ammunition. I'm curious about the origin of this word, and while investigating, find that the word is, 'ordnance'.

I am still interested in the origin of the word, but now I'm puzzled at how I was SO sure there was an 'i' squeezed in there.

I'd like to see Dr. Goodword's take on this one!

Thanks and Merry Christmas,
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
~Mark Twain, [pen name for Samuel Clemens], American author and humorist, (1835-1910)~

Perry Lassiter
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Re: ordnance

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:32 pm

Both words seem to come from the same root. I too would like to see a full treatment.
Ordnance can refer to a variety of military equipment and the department that supplies it.
Add the i, and you have civil laws and religious ceremonies.

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Re: ordnance

Postby Slava » Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:48 pm

Nice find. And I just found a third member of the family: ordonnance.

1. the arrangement or disposition of parts, as of a building, picture, or literary work.
2. an ordinance, decree, or law.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

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Re: ordnance

Postby eberntson » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:28 pm

I was going through my garden books and found the following title "The ordnance survey guide to gardens in Britain.". The spelling look incorrect, so I ended up here.
Fear less, hope more;
eat less, chew more;
whine less, breathe more;
talk less, say more,
and all good things will be yours.
--R. Burns

Philip Hudson
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Re: ordnance

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:31 am

When I was a high school math teacher, I was ill fated to have a principal who was a reserve Army general. He seemed to think that the mathematics of gun ranging (a pretty complex discipline) was called ordnance. He ordered me (I think he thought he was my general) to teach "ordnance" instead of Euclidian geometry since geometry was of no practical use. Before I could tell him that I would not do his bidding, the Bay of Pigs came up and he was called to an active command in the army. Ironically my brother-in-law served under this general in the army where he had to follow his commands to the letter.
For me it was a deus ex machina. For my brother-in-law it was a kismet of doom. Both of us would rather have skipped the whole thing.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

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