Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wordplay Wednesday™ February 24, 2016 – ORT

Don’t Snort your Orts!

When I was a wee lass (a better lead-in than “When I was a kid …?”) we were told to “finish every scrap of food” on our plates, because there were “starving children in China.”

Well, we now know the folly of those admonitions. First, we didn’t understand the correlation between our food and the children in China – our good fortune was lost in the worry of not getting any pie; and sadly, there always have been and likely always will be starving children, on every continent.

Second, finishing everything on our plates often led to obesity – if not then, the gobbling habit wreaked havoc on our adult years*  before we realized we needed smaller plates!

On a lighter note, can you imagine the food snorting out our noses if our parents had exclaimed, “Young lady, you finish all the orts on your plate, or no dessert!”

ORT(s)n. a scrap or fragment of food left from a meal, usu. used in plural. [WW#48]

“Usually used in plural?” When have you usually used that word in anything? Methinks there are thousands of words in the dictionary that could easily be eliminated. Why saddle one meaning with three, four, five or more words to cover it? Think about it, writers

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wordplay Wednesday™ February 17, 2016 – Algid

Brrrrrr, from one end of the country to the other, our weather temperatures have behaved like a young’un with his first yo-yo.

A few weeks back, even California barely passed the 40-degree mark, yet last week, I enjoyed several balmy, 80+ days under blue skies.

My East Coast friends though, wouldn’t talk weather with me as they stocked up on wood and oil, and hunkered down to watch the snowflakes pile up to their window sills.

Playing yo-yo with our weather, Mother Nature can’t seem to make up her mind (well, she is a woman and entitled to change her mind, of course). Up or down, it never stays in walk-the-dog mode long enough to get used to it.

One day it’s pseudo-summer, the next, it’s an algid 5d. and we’re slip-sliding through the snow. So, what do you think Zoe the cat is thinking on her first venture in the snow?

ALGID (alʹjid) adj. – cold, chilly. [Freakin' freezing!]

Various “experts” in all related sciences – or none – can snap your frozen ear off, debating one side or other of many and sundry global warming issues. But there are three irrefutable facts ...

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wordplay Wednesday™ February 10, 2016 – Doyenne

What did you call me?

Are personal titles becoming obsolete? Once upon a time in a world that seems so far, far, away, we addressed each other formally (especially in public) with societal or royal titles. Just call me …

DOYENNE (doi enʹ, dwä yenʹ; female version of DOYEN, doiʹɘn) – n.: [French] the senior member of a group, esp. one regarded as an authority because of superior knowledge and long experience. [WW#46]

Well, I can claim the looonng experience anyway. And I much prefer doyenne to “Dame” (British female equivalent of knighthood) or “Madam” (more popular as the US “authority” of a bordello).

“Sir,” “Madam,” “Miss,” “Mr.,” “Mrs.” or “Ms.,” were once common forms of addressing each other, and still appear on forms – but do you ever checkmark those boxes anymore?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wordplay Wednesday™ February 3, 2016 – Acephalous

Have you cut off your head to spite your brain?

As long (and some might say, tedious) as last week’s Wordplay Wednesday stood on its soapbox, this week’s creative curiosity is pleasantly short. Let’s just say, it’s cut off at the neck …

ACEPHALOUS (ā sefʹɘ lɘs) – adj.; Zoology: 1) having no part of the body differentiated as the head; 2) having no leader. And from the Encyclopædia Britannica: The word is used literally in biology; and metaphorically in prosody or grammar … In zoology, the mollusca are divided into cephalous and acephalous (Acephala), according as they have or have not an organized part of their anatomy as the seat of the brain and special senses. [WW#45]
Yummy plate of oysters from France

So there you have the official brainiac definitions. And yes, your yummy oysters are in the acephalous family, as are giant squid and the like – and though in their own species, are animals.

Sounds more like a disease, but there is oh, so much more to our headless wonder …

You animal folks may know the term well in your kingdom, while anthropologists liken us to animals and apply it to societies … what are they trying to tell us?

Perhaps they agree that our government is a cabal (last week’s word) of animals that fit this description? Certainly headless and … have not an organized part of their anatomy as the seat of the brain and special senses. Hahaha … sorry, just couldn’t help myself.

Enjoy your week and try not to mingle with too many who exhibit traits of acephalous!


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