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?

4 Comments:

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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