janewilliams20: (Default)
Writing an email (about file transfers), I found myself about to use the phrase "from whence", and since this isn't something I use very often, thought I'd check that I was using it correctly.
I discovered that technically, no, I wasn't.. "Whence" means "from where", so the "from" on the front is redundant, though it's a common mistake. How common? How far back does it go? Much classic poetry uses it, which is presumably how I'd absorbed it.

A helpful forum gives me the answer.

It looks as if there has always been some doubt about whence versus from whence. The first edition of Wycliff's Psalms (1382) has:

I rered vp myn eȝen in to the mounteynes; whennys shal come helpe to me.

But the edition of 1388 has:

I reiside myn iyen to the hillis; fro whannus help schal come to me.

I can imagine 14th century grammarians having the same argument we're having now: "Nay! Thou canst nat say, fro whannus: yt lakketh gramer!"

janewilliams20: (Default)
And because of how I know it, this is reported for [personal profile] stevieannie
piepowder, n.


[‘ A wayfarer, esp. an itinerant merchant or trader. Chiefly in pl., in Court of Piepowders n. (also in sing.) a summary court formerly held at fairs and markets to administer justice among itinerant dealers and others temporarily resident.’]


(Cut and formatting don't seem to want to play, so inserting as plain text in HTML)

Read more... )
janewilliams20: (Default)
octodesexcentenary, adj.
Now hist. rare.
Designating a period of 592 years.
The figure of 592 arose in connection with a lunisolar calendar devised by Thomas Lydiat, based on a year beginning at the vernal equinox and comprising six months of 30 days followed by six of 29 days, with occasional extra days or months

Of course, one can work out how any such word, for any number, can be formed, but for one that obscure to make it into the dictionary (when one assumes that the period of 593 years, for instance, didn't) is rather nice.


janewilliams20: (Default)
 The OED has been faithfully sending me the Word of the Day all this time, Yahoo Mail has been auto-filing them for me, but I've only just got around to reading them. Here's some that I liked.

reify, v.
[‘ trans. To make (something abstract) more concrete or real; to regard or treat (an idea, concept, etc.) as if having material existence.’]
If the something abstract is a plan for doing things, then  suppose this is rather like "implement", but to regard a concept, like "love" as having physical existence..? I'll have to think about that.
 
ale knight, n.
[‘ A person who frequents public houses; a drunkard.’]
Nice phrase, to be remembered for use in any medieval setting.
 
abditory, n.
[‘ A safe repository for valuables; a hiding place (lit. and fig.).’]
"Safe" is so boring!
 
rute, v.
[‘ trans. with it and intr. Of a child: to cry loudly, bawl.’]
Eng. regional (Cheshire). Obs. rare
Many of my friends might like to rescue that word from the confines of Cheshire and make its use less "obs. rare".

janewilliams20: (Default)
 Amusing only when I try to apply it to my own house

tablinum, n.
[‘ An anteroom in an ancient Roman house, opening out of the atrium opposite the principal entrance and often containing the family archives and statues.’]

The room that opens out of my hall, directly opposite the main entrance, is the downstairs loo :)
janewilliams20: (Default)
 OED word of the day
cryptoporticus, n.
[‘ An enclosed gallery having side walls with openings or windows instead of columns. Also: a covered or subterranean passage.’]

The OED doesn't say that it's 10 foot wide (or some multiple thereof), but it sounds as if it ought to be.

janewilliams20: (Default)
 I think she meant "woe is me!", from context. What she wrote was "whoa is me", and no, said context did not involve either horses or beef.


janewilliams20: (Default)
 The OED does it again.
cruftyadj.
[‘Of software: poorly designed, esp. unnecessarily or unintentionally complex; containing redundant code.’]

janewilliams20: (Default)
 Mainly card-making and other paper-craft magazines, at the moment.

1) "To make this, all you need is the free kit that comes with this magazine, and..."
A set of die-cutters that you don't possess, that will cost of the order of £15 or so
Some pens, ink, or paints in a brand-named colour that gives you no idea what the colour actually is, so you can't substitute something you have got. Here's an example: "Honey Dew Fresco Finish Paint" by "Paperartsy" . It turns out to be olive green - why not say that in the first place?
Stamps, same problem. "Stamper anonymous studio 490 art colours life stamps". What's that? Google tells me it's a background stamp featuring leaves, and will cost me £20. That's a lot of money, to make one card from a "free" kit.

2) "A make". No. "Make" is a verb, not a noun. "Shaped makes" - no, they're shaped cards. "Top makes using the chandelier stamp" - no! Why not "Top things you can make"? Or, having inspected the article in question beyond the headline, "cards you can make"? Worst yet, someone's comment on a photo of a card I'd made "what a lovely make!". What, can't they tell what it is? That sounds like the praise given to a toddler in art class - "what a lovely picture of a, ermm... thing...."




janewilliams20: (Default)
 OED's word of the day. I'm snipping the huge entry quite a lot, but...

aumbry, n.
1. [‘A container for storing books, a bookcase; (occas.) a room where books or other documents are stored, a library, an archive. Formerly also: †a repository or compendium of knowledge, such as a chronicle or commentary (obs.). Now hist. (chiefly in the form  almery) and rare.’]
 
Etymology: < (i) Anglo-Norman almarie, almari, almerie, aumerie, aumere, aumer, Anglo-Norman and Old French almarie, Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French armarie (also Old French, Middle French armaire, Middle French, French armoire) niche, cabinet, cupboard, closet, bookcase, library, chest (12th cent.),....
 
 2.  More generally.
 a.  A place for storing things, as a cupboard, locker, safe, press, etc.; a repository; (in later use) esp. a niche or recess in a wall used for storage. Formerly also (occas.): †a storeroom or storehouse (obs.). Now somewhat rare in general sense.
 
†b.  fig. A repository or plentiful source of something. Obs.
 
3.  spec.
 a.  A place for storing food. Now rare (chiefly Sc. and Eng. regional (north.) in later use).
 
 b.  Christian Church. A cupboard, locker, or recess in the wall of a church or church building, to hold books, communion vessels, vestments, etc.
 
†4.  An internal compartment or section of a cupboard. Obs.
 
So for most of us, it's a place where you keep books, but Oop North it's where they keep food :)
janewilliams20: (Default)
 You know when the rain stops, and everywhere smells fresh and new?

petrichorn.
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈpɛtrɪkə/, /ˈpɛtrʌɪkɔː/,  U.S. /ˈpɛtrᵻˌkɔ(ə)r/, /ˈpɛtraɪˌkɔ(ə)r/
Etymology: <  petr- (in petro- comb. form1) + ichor n.
  A pleasant, distinctive smell frequently accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather in certain regions. Also: an oily liquid mixture of organic compounds which collects in the ground and is believed to be responsible for this smell.
1964  I. J. Bear  & R. G. Thomas in Nature 7 Mar. 993/2 The diverse nature of the host materials has led us to propose the name ‘petrichor’ for this apparently unique odour which can be regarded as an ‘ichor’ or ‘tenuous essence’ derived from rock or stone. This name, unlike the general term ‘argillaceous odour’, avoids the unwarranted implication that the phenomenon is restricted to clays or argillaceous materials; it does not imply that petrichor is necessarily a fixed chemical entity but rather it denotes an integral odour.
1971 Listener 4 Nov. 612/3 No matter what kind of rock or earth was used, the oily essence always possessed the aroma of petrichor—the smell of rain falling on dry ground.
1975 Sunday Mail(Brisbane) 2 Nov. 32/2 The globules, nicknamed ‘petrichor’ or ‘essence of rock’ by the researchers, contained at least 50 different compounds, not unlike a perfume and were absorbed into the ground from the air.
1993 Canad. Geographic Sept.–Oct. 13/1 Petrichor comes from atmospheric haze, which contains the terpenes, creosotes and other volatile compounds that emanate from plants.
1998  L. Forbes Bombay Ice (1999) 11 First there is petrichor, the dry smell of unbaked clay, from the Greek for ‘stone-essence’.
janewilliams20: (Default)
Not the OED word of the day this time, this was passed on by a friend (thanks, Liz!)

Bloviate

blo·vi·ate/ˈblōvēˌāt/

Verb: To talk at length, esp. in an inflated or empty way.

I will have to track this one down and see where it originated. Was there perhaps a Mr. Blo?

Merriam Webster;
"perhaps irregular from blow
First Known Use: circa 1879"

"Perhaps" - meaning they're guessing.

Free dcitionay.com says: " Mock-Latinate formation, from blow "

And here's a much better explanation.
http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-blo1.htm 
"This word — meaning to speak pompously — is almost entirely restricted to the United States; it doesn’t appear in any of my British English dictionaries, not even the bigOxford English Dictionary or the very recent New Oxford Dictionary of English. Yet it has a long history...."
Which he then gives, in detail.

janewilliams20: (Default)
 OED word of the day delivers again.

imˈbriferousadj.
Etymology: <  Latin imbrifer ( <  imber a shower): see -ferous comb. form.
 rare.
  Rain-bringing, showery.
1815  T. I. M. Forster Res. Atmosph. Phænom. (ed. 2) ii. 80 The imbriferous quality of the atmosphere.

 
Rare? The word, yes, the meaning, sadly not.

janewilliams20: (geek)
This is a word I met for the first time yesterday, while talking to a possible supplier of web search technology. It refers to the practice of tuning search results so that they tend to take the visitor to the page where you're selling your most expensive product. I'm not sure how I feel about either the practice, or the word - I'm equally inclined both to wince, and to admire the ingenuity.
janewilliams20: (Default)
Copied from http://zornhau.livejournal.com/236382.html

"Googlekaze" (verb)

The act of launching a product that's technically very clever, but doomed to failure because somebody else already has that niche, and then ensuring that very failure by hectoring the users you do get about the way that they use it.


"Ad-hock"

Aug. 13th, 2010 01:08 pm
janewilliams20: (Default)
It's a good word. I don't think it's what was intended in the context in which I found it, but it's a good word. The question is, what does/could it mean?
janewilliams20: (Default)
Thanks to Dr. Moose, over on the Continuum forum. This, I had to share.

Beer (Hebrew) A well, or place of refreshing.

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