Friday, April 4, 2008

Oh, My Word...

I subscribe to Dictionary.com Word of the Day. Every day they send out an email featuring a word along with its definition and a couple of quotes in which the word is used. Sometimes it is a word I already know; sometimes it is a word I think I know but after reading the definition realize I do not. At any rate, it is one of those daily emails I enjoy receiving because every now and then I learn something new. However, I do not think I will use many of those words on any kind of regular basis. I mean, why would I describe something as "recherche" if it is exotic or rare? I would just say it was exotic or rare. Still, it's kind of a daily game for me to see if I can find a use for the word during the day. I usually don't, and I've forgotten the word by the time the next day's email shows up.

Scott is equally amused by words. I see it manifested in him as he leads choir rehearsal. In singing, holding out notes while joining the ending of one word with the beginning syllable of the next word can be tricky sometimes. When Scott tries to explain this technique to our choir, he often ends up making up new words. For instance, "was lost" becomes "waaa slohst." 'Waaa' would be the word on the note held out; 'slohst' would be the word on the quick, short note (think of the lyrics of Amazing Grace). After these funny sounding words come out of his mouth, he will then offer some wild explanation about its origin, like, it's an old Yiddish term that means your grandmother smells like a goat.

Scott also finds comedy in words on signs. If a sign is illuminated but a letter is burned out, he will read the word out loud pronouncing it using only the letters that are lit. For example, if the 'M' were burned out, he would read it as "Wal art." Then he will make up a story about all the lovely art they sell over at Wal's place. Clever, he is.

Since I'm in daily contact with the folks at Dictionary.com, and because I sit under the tutelage of such an enlightened and creative minister of music, and since I passed the English 101 exemption test in college, I feel sure my grasp of grammar is secure. Here's my rationalization to prove it...

Dictionary.com defines the word 'ire' as intense anger or wrath. Using the common rules of English grammar, adding an 'i - n - g' to a word often changes a noun to a verb. If you add and 'i - n - g ' to the word 'ire' (and, of course, dropping the silent e --another English grammar sticking point), you get 'iring.' Which, I would assume and conclude, would mean 'angering' or 'making someone really mad.'

So, imagine what I thought when I saw that word on a sign this week.

At least they're honest about their customer service. Or lack thereof.

Now, lest you begin to think of me as a garrulous polyglot , I will cease my spewing. At least until the next Word of the Day shows up in my inbox.

Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm so impressed. You always think of things differently. You get it from your mother!

:0) MPH

Rebecca said...

O.k., that sign is a riot! :)