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Helm

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Helm

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:53 pm

• helm •


Pronunciation: helm • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, Verb

Meaning: 1. The tiller or wheel of a ship, the steering gear of a ship. 2. The position of leadership or control of an organization as in, "at the helm of the company". 3. (Verb) To guide, lead, or steer. 4.The stalk(s) of grain, straw.

Notes: Helm is another one of those odd little lexical rarities in English that are pronounced exactly the way it is spelled. I'll bet few of you have heard this word used as a verb like this: "Cape nurse helming state health office" (Cape Cod Times, 6/26/13). Other than these two curious twists, it is a lexical orphan that raises no red flags.

In Play: You may take this sentence either literally or figuratively: "We need a steady hand at the helm when so many people are rocking the boat." This one has only the figurative sense of today's Good Word: "When a courageous woman took the helm, she set our company's bearings on a more tranquil course." Then we have the verbal use: "Grandma won't let grandpa helm the car because of his tendency to fall asleep at stop signs."

Word History: Helm descended from Old English helma "rudder; position of control". Apparently the same Proto-Indo-European word converted to Greek kalpe "pot, jug, jar" and Latin calpar "wine cask", both round like a wheel. The sense of this word changed on its way to the modern European languages. By the time it reached Modern German, it had changed to Helm "handle, helve". In fact, English preserved both meanings by changing the spellings to helve "ax handle" and helm. (Thank you, Dilys Smith, for suggesting today's Good Word back in June of this year. Had someone more efficient than Dr. Goodword been at the helm, there would not have been such a delay.)
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Re: Helm

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:53 pm

Nah, blame the navigator.
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Re: Helm

Postby gailr » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:17 pm

In our time, the person at the helm is not the one wearing a helmet. That's the protective garb worn by those actually doing the hard work to implement the helm's decisions -- or by those protecting their brain waves from 'them' at the helm!
:wink:
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Re: Helm

Postby MTC » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:38 pm

STANDARD HELM COMMAND PROCEDURE

COMMAND “Come right (left) to "(e.g., 090.”
HELMSMAN’S
RESPONSE
“Come right (left) to_ Aye aye sir/ma’am.”
EXECUTION Put over the rudder right (left)and steady on the specified course. You must use the Rudder Angle Indicator and the Gyro or Magnetic
Compass to complete this command.
HELMSMAN’S
RESPONSE
“Steady on course sir/ma ‘am.”
CONNING
OFFICER’S
RESPONSE
“Very well” or “aye aye”.

(http://www.sunymaritime.edu/media/docum ... mmands.pdf)
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Re: Helm

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:43 am

gailr wrote:In our time, the person at the helm is not the one wearing a helmet. That's the protective garb worn by those actually doing the hard work to implement the helm's decisions -- or by those protecting their brain waves from 'them' at the helm!
:wink:



Do you mean the caps made from tinfoil?
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Re: Helm

Postby MTC » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:33 pm

Tinfoil hats are now "costume de rigueur" for visitors to the Congressional gallery.
See http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2013/09/19/c ... e-hearing/
Helmets against the harmful rays.
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Re: Helm

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:22 pm

Ain't that the truth. :lol:
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Re: Helm

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:43 pm

I wondered what was getting into those guys. Congress must be reacting to those invisible rays. Surely they're not this idiotic, and we're not idiotic enough to keep electing them.
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Re: Helm

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:09 pm

And there's the key: we keep re-electing them.
Take the leader of the Senate as an example.
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Re: Helm

Postby Slava » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:42 pm

Yes, this thread is talking about people at the helm. However, may I beg of you all to resist politics and remain on track with the word itself? If we get going on politics, I fear we will very quickly run into Godwin's Law and become extremely rancorous in our discussion. A snide remark here and there is one thing, but if we keep going down the rabbit hole, we will get lost.

Please?
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Re: Helm

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:21 pm

Only because we love you, Slava!
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Re: Helm

Postby gailr » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:54 pm

The [arm]Chair[s] recognize the motion of the Gentleman from Great State of New York, and the second from the Gentleman from Louisianna...


:D
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Re: Helm

Postby Slava » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:14 pm

I hope and believe that I speak for all of us in accepting the armchairs' approval. In addition, while no one would want anyone other than our Good Doctor to serve as the helmsman of this site, I am confident that no one in the Agora wishes to see it become rudderless.

Sincerely,

He Who is Called Slava
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