Search found 33 matches

by brogine
Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Etymology
Topic: Etymology Faves
Replies: 3
Views: 4100

Re: Etymology Faves

Here's another good one. Can you find the route from the erudite quill of Washington Irving to "Don't get your knickers in a twist"?
by brogine
Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Pronunciation
Topic: This Theory . . .
Replies: 2
Views: 14007

Re: This Theory . . .

I'd like to re-present this. It seems clear that - among 'th' words - nouns and verbs and most adjectives are pronounced with the 'th' unvoiced. Voiced are prepositions, conjunctions, and - again, help me out with terminology - 'generic' adjectives like 'this' and 'that', and also pronouns. Surely, ...
by brogine
Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:30 pm
Forum: Spelling
Topic: Is he a Realtor anymore?
Replies: 8
Views: 17103

Re: Is he a Realtor anymore?

Thank you for your scholarship. My objection to 'anymore' is twofold. For one thing, the pronunciation is not in accord with the typical compound: 'anything', 'anyone', etc. But primarily, the meaning of 'any' is different, if subtly.
by brogine
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:30 pm
Forum: Spelling
Topic: Between You and Me
Replies: 1
Views: 316

Between You and Me

Recently, in two works of fiction (a mystery novel and a statement from White House Chief of Staff John Kelly), I noted the word 'confidante' applied to a male. Traditionally, the final 'e' is a suffix indicating a female individual. I mention it, not as an indication of what a clever lad am I, but ...
by brogine
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:15 pm
Forum: Pronunciation
Topic: Midwinter Blues
Replies: 0
Views: 1429

Midwinter Blues

Eliot notwithstanding, to this prescriptivist curmudgeon, 'Febuary is the 'cruellest month'.
by brogine
Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:45 pm
Forum: Etymology
Topic: Etymology Faves
Replies: 3
Views: 4100

Re: Etymology Faves

'Tawdry' is good, but I was looking for less straightforward derivations. The English seem to have a penchant for elision in names. Think 'Bedlam' and 'Sinjin' (St. John), not to mention 'Fanshaw' (Featherstonhaugh).
Forgot 'Chumley' before. Spelled 'Cholmondeley'.
by brogine
Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:05 pm
Forum: Spelling
Topic: Is he a Realtor anymore?
Replies: 8
Views: 17103

Re: Is he a Realtor anymore?

More on 'anymore'. There's a good reason it ought to be two words. The 'any' in compounds like 'anything' and 'anywhere', et cet does not have the same meaning as the 'any' in 'any more'. Also, the pronunciation doesn't match, I mean of the placement of the accent.
by brogine
Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:55 pm
Forum: Idioms
Topic: The man on the Clapham omnibus
Replies: 4
Views: 19931

Re: The man on the Clapham omnibus

Another interesting Britishism is 'going Bodmin' - losing one's marbles. Oh, and I love 'how's your father'.
by brogine
Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:03 pm
Forum: Etymology
Topic: Etymology Faves
Replies: 3
Views: 4100

Etymology Faves

Have a favorite tortuous-path etymology? I'm fond of 'tabby' and 'album', as applied to a collection of music, particularly in one of the new formats.
Also, how about curious cousins, like 'hearse' and 'rehearse', not to mention 'vagina' and 'vanilla'?
by brogine
Mon May 02, 2016 5:30 pm
Forum: Idioms
Topic: just like that . . .
Replies: 2
Views: 15142

just like that . . .

I was talking with some people and someone used this phrase - and it struck me - fortuitously, in the manner of the phrase - how delicate and elegant it is: 'all of a sudden'. I think we miss appreciating many things right in front us, knowing them by rote. Each word, except 'a', is used in an uncon...
by brogine
Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:19 pm
Forum: Languages of the World
Topic: Untranslatables?
Replies: 13
Views: 12090

Re: Untranslatables?

I believe Twain also said that Wagner is "better than it sounds". or I did until just now. Apparently, it's apocryphal. But I'm quite sure that many years ago, I coined a German word for a firm that insures against the theft of pencil sharpeners: Bleistiftspitzmaschinediebstahlversicherung...
by brogine
Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:56 pm
Forum: Languages of the World
Topic: Untranslatables?
Replies: 13
Views: 12090

Re: Untranslatables?

Homer: Okay, then, Lisa. What's the opposite of schadenfreude?
Lisa: Sour grapes.
Homer: Man, those Germans have a word for everything!
by brogine
Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:11 pm
Forum: Pronunciation
Topic: This Theory . . .
Replies: 2
Views: 14007

This Theory . . .

What, if anything, can we make of the fact that, among words beginning with 'th', pronouns and prepositions get the soft sound, and other words the hard? There might be exceptions, but not available to me now.
by brogine
Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:07 pm
Forum: Languages of the World
Topic: Phonemes
Replies: 5
Views: 5893

Re: Phonemes

Excellent work, bnjtokyo. Thank you so much.
by brogine
Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:44 pm
Forum: Languages of the World
Topic: Phonemes
Replies: 5
Views: 5893

Re: Phonemes

Surely there must be someone unafraid to discuss this. Populations have many physiological differences, like adaptations to high altitudes, which are 'in their DNA'. Literally. Or perhaps one should say ' literally literally'. And even if I'm 'inferior' to the Andeans inasmuch as I can't jog around ...

Go to advanced search