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Quidnunc

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Quidnunc

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:58 pm

• quidnunc •


Pronunciation: kwid-nêngk • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A busybody, a nosy person, especially one who is always asking questions that are none of his or her business.

Notes: The plural of today's word is a simple quidnuncs but we seem unable to decide whether the quality that distinguishes quidnuncs is quidnuncism or quidnunckery. (I'm inclined to prefer the latter.)

In Play: Kids, today's word is one you can have a lot of fun with because it sounds much worse than it really is: "You're just a big quidnunc! Now stay out of my room!" Say that to an older sibling and they will certainly tell your parents. But all you have to do is bring a dictionary with you to the dinner table to teach the troublemaker an important lesson: knowledge is power. If you are an adult, you probably know at least one quidnunc without a dictionary in the office. Now, you can fend off their quidnunckery verbally without lowering your speech standards.

Word History: Today's word comes from the Latin phrase Quid nunc? "What now? What's going on?" Quid comes from the Proto-Indo-European pronoun kwo-. As we now know, PIE [k] became [h] in English, so we would expect hwa-something in English. Well, pronounce what slowly and listen to yourself. In the dialects which preserve the initial H, we actually pronounce the [h] before [w] and switch them in our writing: what is pronounced [hwaht]. So, where, when, and which developed from the same primitive pronoun roots as Latin quid (pronounced [kwid]), quo "where", quando "when". By the way, Russian chto "what" and kto "who" come from the same root with to "that" suffixed to it. (Jeremy Busch is no quidnunc, so we must thank him especially for recommending today's Good Word.)
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Re: Quidnunc

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:38 pm

Good stuff, slava. I was always, as a kid, curious
about the who,what,where,why,when (WH) connection.
Now I know, and only a half century late.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Quidnunc

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:52 pm

Better late than never?
pl
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Re: Quidnunc

Postby MTC » Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:37 pm

"Today's word comes from the Latin phrase Quid nunc? 'What now? What's going on?'"

FROM THE QUIDNUNCKERY

Quidnunc 1: Salvete homine! Quid nunc?

Quidnunc 2: Yo homie! Waddup?
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Re: Quidnunc

Postby Slava » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:03 pm

Isn't quidnunckery a sine qua non of a good investigative reporter? Good answers to all those Ws and an H do add up.
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Re: Quidnunc

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:23 pm

Quidnunckery. :wink:
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Quidnunc

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:54 am

MTC: Quidnunc 3: 'Sup?
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Quidnunc

Postby DavidLJ » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:46 am

A fine explanation of why the simplified wite so grates on prissy classicists like me!

-dlj.
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Re: Quidnunc

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:48 pm

"Simplified wite? What' s that?
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Re: Quidnunc

Postby Slava » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:25 pm

As in Wite-Out, or Lite beer, I'd say.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: Quidnunc

Postby MTC » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:43 pm

DavidLJ wrote:A fine explanation of why the simplified wite so grates on prissy classicists like me!

-dlj.


Though much he travel'd in Realms of Gold,
He came back empty and a scold.
Somewhere along the Appian Way
He'd lost his sense of humor.

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