Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wordplay Wednesday™ October 19, 2016 – Tyro

Forecast: High Pressure System with Chance of Clouds!  

By the end of October we begin to move from the unpredictable weather of fall into the even more erratic meteorological elements that dog us through winter.
Are you a novice meteorologist, or like most of us, don’t know (or often care) about the difference between cumulus and nimbostratus clouds? (Although the latter sounds kinda kinky.)
In view of the extreme weather conditions that may or may not be attributed to climate change or climate control—take your extreme choice—it’s good to know how and when your cumulus clouds could turn into a mind-twisting tornado. To begin …

TYRO (tīʹrō) n. – a beginner in learning something; novice; syn., amateur. [WW #82]

Put on your tyro hat—no, not the pointy one—and explore the world of clouds at Encyclopædia Britannica. Besides peaceful to observe, and great for spotting divine, heavenly animals, cumulus clouds can turn wicked in the right (or way wrong) conditions.
And before you say the pretty, puffy cumulus clouds couldn’t possibly be evil, read on dear tyro. According to Wiki: “A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that revolves while in contact with both the surface of the Earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud.”

Short-and-sweet is my mantra today (or rather tonight, by the time this is posted!) … so that’s our weatherized version of Wordplay Wednesday for this week! After another week or so of “Indian Summer,” we tyros will have an intelligent comment to make in casual conversation!  (Please, no racial complaints—it’s just a term that has been in use for more than two hundred years.)

Word Challenge: TYRO. Remember, there is a difference between stupid and ignorant. The latter means you’re simply uninformed—don’t be the former—learn something new every day! Can you fit tyro into your week of cloudy writings?


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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wordplay Wednesday™ October 12, 2016 – Quale

Do You Sense It? Spooky … 

If you play Words With Friends, it’s very likely you (like me) frantically poke at letters to create words you’ve never heard of, hoping to hear the WWF trill of a “good” word. You play it, rarely caring what the hell it means.

In full disclosure (in case you’re about to splash my indiscretion across social media with Donald and Hillary), I clap in glee with these words; but I began this weekly word odyssey for innocent reasons: 1) I wanted to learn the meaning of an unfamiliar word; 2) I wanted to call WWF’s bluff.

Early on in my WWF game days, I quickly discovered their oft-used “fallback” definition blurb “… is a valid Words With Friends word. Sorry, no definition is available at this time!” Uh-huh.

In other words, you’re bluffing dude! Of course, if I played the word … well, ok. Especially if it resulted in twenty points or more! ;-)  Obscure but high-scoring works … but when it isn’t in a common dictionary, I feel just a little guilty … only a little.  

QUALE (kwāʹlē, kwäʹ-; pl. qualia) n. – (Philosophy) a quality, as whiteness, loudness, etc., abstracted as an independent, universal essence from a thing. [WW #81]

Although quale is in the dictionary and often a high-scoring WWF word, after playing it more times than I can count, its unique philosophical qualia finally caught my attention.
Consider it the sense datum of your perceptions … or, as we head into Halloween, quale might be a good word to spook the spirit of your psyche. Behold … your eeriness element. Boo!

Word Challenge: QUALE. We talk about our senses often … but do we really think about them? Can you fit quale into your week of ethereal writings?


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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Throwback Thursday Wordplay™ October 06, 2016 – Estival/Cotidal

Two-Fer Thursday Wordplay--in a Throwback Mood

I lost Wednesday … missed it completely. I’m wondering if it quaked and was swept away with the news of Hurricane Matthew looming over our East Coast shorelines. A sure sign summer (and my Wednesday) have left the building!

To make up for the “day late and dollar short” belated Wordplay Wednesday, we have a Two-Fer Thursday Wordplay with a throwback twist … and thoughts of my friends watching the tides and times of Matthew.
COTIDAL (kō tidʹl) adj. – indicating the coincidence in time or extent of tides (cotidal lines on a map). [TFT 1 of 2 / WW #80]

ESTIVAL (esʹtɘ vɘl, estiʹvɘl) adj. – of or pertaining to summer. [TFT 2 of 2 / WW #80]

At times the dictionary is less than helpful in defining a word or phrase, as in cotidal. Back to school I went—and after much scientific gobbledygook, I settled on Wiki’s relatively clear explanation of its meaning.

In part, cotidal Wiki explains, “Lines of constant tidal phase are called cotidal lines, which are analogous to contour lines of constant altitude on topographical maps. High water is reached simultaneously along the cotidal lines extending from the coast out into the ocean, and cotidal lines (and hence tidal phases) advance along the coast.” Kind of the “eye of the storm” in cotidal-speak.

There is SO much more to read there, but study time is up for me! How's-about something for you to do if you’re hunkering down, hoping to stay connected while you weather the storm?

If you’re not quite ready to let estival days of idyllic beaches fade into the annals of time, I’ve dredged up three movie titles that bring back estival fun personified. (With a fond nod to a classic Elvis film):

Blue Hawaii / Elvis Presley (1961; even this 3-minute trailer is a warm boost of estival energy)
Beach Blanket Bingo / Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello (1965)
Back to the Beach / Frankie & Annette are back! (1987)

Cowabunga, dude! Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s learnin’ how, come on a “Safari” with me! Oh, sorry—this is October. He did the mash, he did the “Monster Mash! (Coming soon to a radio near you …)

Word Challenge: COTIDAL / ESTIVAL.  The summer reference is easy—writing about a complicated currents and tides reference, not so much. Can you fit them both into your week of writings?


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