Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wordplay Wednesday™ March 30, 2016 – THENAR

Short ‘n’ Sweet – except for feet

We’re not going to tiptoe around today. It’s all about the hands. Although feet are by many, considered the most important foundation of our bodies, when defined, they get the shaft. 

thenar (thēʹnär) n. – the palm of the hand or, sometimes, the sole of the foot; 2) the bulge at base of the thumb.* [WW #53]

“Sometimes” – in reference to the good folks at *Webster – you have to wonder at their choice of wording. After all, how can thenar only sometimes be the sole of the foot – it is, or it isn’t! Which is it? Jus’ askin’.

Perhaps since the 5th edition of their New World College Dictionary they discovered the ambiguous definition of thenar, as applied to feet, could be (gasp!) wrong. Neither their digital definition, nor Wikipedia’s explanation (albeit disputed) mention the foot pad. Huh.

Conclusion: Like apparently everything else in our lives once thought “set in stone,” our facts are mutable and ever-changing, and our “experts” can be mistaken …

Word of the Week: THENAR. Can you fit it into your next writing?   


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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wordplay Wednesday™ March 23, 2016 – QUIPU math

1 – 2 Buckle My Shoe … 3 – 4 calculator of yore!

Our love affair with mathematics is practically ingrained, as even the ancients created methods to calculate taxes. Sigh.
Slide Rule Museum

Fortunately, we invented computers, so not only can we calculate our income at the speed of light (or airwaves, radio waves, whatever), we can also spend it even quicker, without taking our shoes off to add up our purchases! Wow – sure beats the ol’ quipu

quipu (kēʹpōō, kwipʹōō) n.: a device consisting of an arrangement of cords variously colored and knotted, used by the ancient Peruvians to keep accounts, record events, etc. [WW #52]

And you thought everyone was raised on the abacus. While it apparently came first, the quipu is no slouch, confounding and irritating the conquistadors (mid-1500s) as they attempted to convert, then annihilate the Peruvians.
The Inca society put the quipus to use for everything from simple math, to recording labor projects, and the census, during their rise between the 12th and 13th centuries. “The cords contained numeric and other values encoded by knots in a base ten positional system. A quipu could have only a few or up to 2,000 cords.”
So when you visit your tax consultant ask to borrow her quipu to determine the amount of the refund of hard-earned dollars you “saved” in the government’s annual, mandatory, non-interest bearing account. And then hope you receive it, instead of a low-life black hat hacker. (P.S.: File for your refund ASAP. That way you get to it first!)

Word of the Week: QUIPU. Can you fit it into your next writing?   


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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wordplay Wednesday™ MARCH 16, 2016 – PROG

Munch, munch … Mmmmm, words that taste good …

Words are to our soul, like food to our body. Without words to express our thoughts, to ourselves and to others, we would starve for expression.

So … let’s go progging!

PROG (präg) vi.: to prowl about, as in search of food or plunder; forage; n. – food obtained as by progging. [WW #51]

Foraging for food in your local market and progging around for words in your thesaurus can result in much the same euphoria. Nothing is better than knowing the “taste” you want to experience and finding it!

A bland white sauce simply won’t do when your taste buds are screaming seasoned clam sauce. Nor will a nondescript, “It was my pleasure,” do when your heart knows, it was your honor.

When writing something of importance – a response to a prospective client, or just the right words to a sad friend – it can be a struggle to find the one word with the meaning that is in your heart.

Satisfaction is when I start with an “ok” word, and prog around in the thesaurus to locate the perfect word!

All right, I admit, I also often utilize Microsoft Word’s “Synonyms” feature. Sometimes lacking, I go from there to thumbing through the dictionary and review the official meaning to consider their descriptive words and phrases for additional connotation.

Whatever works for you. Don’t settle for less than what you want to say – from your heart. Only those words have true meaning.

Word of the Week: PROG. Can you fit it into your next writing?

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