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Your Word of the Day

Postby StlSluggers » Wed May 30, 2007 11:38 am

My former co-workers will often forward on any odd word that they get from Merriam-Webster.

Here's today's...

hemidemisemiquaver: a musical note with the time value of 1/64 of a whole note : sixty-fourth note.

You are now smarter. :-D
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Postby Absolutely Adequate » Wed May 30, 2007 11:45 am

I've been considering doing something similar - only using common words and explaining their origins.

Did you know, for instance, that "hearse" and "rehearse" actually come from the same root word? A herse was a rake-like instrument used for plowing.

To plow again and again was called rehearsing - meaning to do the same thing over and over.

The meaning of hearse is a bit trickier. The candles that the church lit when someone died looked a lot like a herse with the tines sticking up. So it eventually began being called a "hearse." Then, they would put it on the back of the wagon that transported the dead to their grave. People would comment on the "hearse" heading down the road, originally meaning the candles. Eventually, that is what the wagon was called. Now, of course, we have fancy cars that are called "Hearses."

End of digression.
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Postby StlSluggers » Wed May 30, 2007 11:47 am

Absolutely Adequate wrote:End of digression.

No! I love etymology. It's why I chose to take Latin in high school.

Every word in Latin has some cool connection to words used today. It's like a little history lesson in each and every word.
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Postby knapplc » Wed May 30, 2007 11:51 am

StlSluggers wrote:Every word in Latin has some cool connection to words used today. It's like a little history lesson in each and every word.


Yes it is, and that's exactly why I love etymology too. ;-D
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Postby Coppermine » Wed May 30, 2007 11:52 am

Nice Sluggers and AA, I am smarter!

To further interject, did you know that no hearse is assembled as-is? Nope, hearse manufacturers buy a regular old Lincoln Town Car (or similar full-size luxury sedan) and then chop off it's back end and custom build a hearse out of it. In resent years, Ford and GM have sold Town Cars and Cadillacs respectively with a hearse package... that is without a back seat, a strengthened chassis and a lower frame.

They cost around $40,000 to $65,000.
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Postby Absolutely Adequate » Wed May 30, 2007 11:56 am

Here's a good one.

Back in the early middle ages, someone noticed that the bellringers were always really muscular and in good shape and wanted the same results. So the man bought a giant bell/rope/pulley and installed it in his home. Unfortunately, that was way too loud. So he removed the ringer. Of course, a bell that can't talk is called... a dumbbell. Now we use the word for any weight that is used to increase muscle mass.
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Postby StlSluggers » Wed May 30, 2007 1:13 pm

You know what this thread needs?

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Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!

:-D
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Postby Dan Lambskin » Wed May 30, 2007 1:21 pm

knapplc wrote:
StlSluggers wrote:Every word in Latin has some cool connection to words used today. It's like a little history lesson in each and every word.


Yes it is, and that's exactly why I love etymology too. ;-D


studying insects rules :-B
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Postby Snakes Gould » Wed May 30, 2007 5:32 pm

Absolutely Adequate wrote:I've been considering doing something similar - only using common words and explaining their origins.

Did you know, for instance, that "hearse" and "rehearse" actually come from the same root word? A herse was a rake-like instrument used for plowing.

To plow again and again was called rehearsing - meaning to do the same thing over and over.

The meaning of hearse is a bit trickier. The candles that the church lit when someone died looked a lot like a herse with the tines sticking up. So it eventually began being called a "hearse." Then, they would put it on the back of the wagon that transported the dead to their grave. People would comment on the "hearse" heading down the road, originally meaning the candles. Eventually, that is what the wagon was called. Now, of course, we have fancy cars that are called "Hearses."

End of digression.


nice. i do feel smarter now. ;-D
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Postby bigh0rt » Wed May 30, 2007 7:28 pm

Solid thread. ;-D
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