Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

June 05, 2004

Things I Learned Today

(2nd in a very infrequent series)

The orange (you know: "a globose berry with a yellowish to reddish orange rind and a sweet edible pulp"--thank you, Merriam-Webster) used to be a "norange." How did the norange become orange? By a process called metathesis ("transposition of two phonemes in a word--as in the development of crud from curd"--M-W again). Like so:

a norange
morphed into
an orange

Voila! Thought you might like to know.


Oh, and by the way, since we're having fun with words, perhaps you'd also like to know the results of Merriam-Webster's poll, in which they asked people to name their ten favorite words. And the winners are:

1. defenestration
2. serendipity
3. onomatopoeia
4. discombobulate
5. plethora
6. callipygian
7. juxtapose
8. persnickety
9. kerfuffle
10. flibbertigibbet

Okay, but what about pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a few favorite words. Poppycock is one...not only because it has an interesting sound to it, but because you can say it in polite society. And ragamuffin, scalawag, vagabond are a few other favorites.

This comment is by rebecca again, but for some reason it isn't letting me post under my own name.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

One of my favorite words is copacetic, I read it in a book when I was a kid, looked it up, and I've been saying it ever since. I love words.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

This is definately not my game. I can only partly guess what your second word means(only because I have a blogging friend who has a title like that), and the rest of the words I don't have a clue what they mean.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Rong said...

I'm chuckling. A good friend of mine used to work with a group of guys who used to do a new vocabulary word each week. I remember him telling me the meaning of callipygian. Of course the hard thing is putting that one into a sentence.
As a developer my favorites have always been Concatenate and Heirarchical.

12:38 PM  

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