Archive for the 'linguistics' Category

you learn something new every day

Learnt a new Latin term recently – vade mecum!

you learn something new every day

A couple of weeks back, I read this article about the finals of this year’s RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship, which was won by a boy from Rosyth School. Several of the words that the competing pupils were asked to spell were mentioned in the text, and I knew most of them. Except porraceous and eglantine. :O

you learn something new every day

Solresol is a constructed language based on musical notes. And I must say, it sounds awfully confusing!!! :P

young/old

Being the main person in charge of my company’s Facebook account, I am able to see what a lot of our doctor members share. Noticed a paediatrician post this earlier today:

Me: “How old are you?”
Little boy: “I am not old.”
:)

How cute is that!!! :D

you learn something new every day

There is actually a water allergy and it is known as aquagenic urticaria!

you learn something new every day

The science of mountains is called orology.

you learn something new every day

Sylvester the Cat‘s trademark exclamation is ‘Sufferin’ succotash!’, and today I finally found out what succotash actually was!

you learn something new every day

The earthy scent of rain is known as petrichor.

muddy waters

Have been reading about the US investment research firm Muddy Waters in the news lately (like here), and kept wondering why anyone would ever give their company such a name. ‘Muddy Waters’ 给人一种水摸鱼、同流合污的感觉! (Translation: ‘Muddy Waters’ gives one the feeling of hun shui mo yu [fishing in troubled, or muddied, waters] and tong liu he wu [evil flowing with evil]!)

So I went to check out its website, and realized with the greatest amusement, that it was indeed named after the Chinese idiom 水摸鱼 (hun shui mo yu). To quote:

The Chinese have an old proverb, “浑水摸鱼” (muddy waters make it easy to catch fish). In other words, opacity creates opportunities to make money. This way of thinking has unfortunately become endemic in global capital markets.

you learn something new every day

I was reading this New York Times article when I came across the word weltanschauung, which as it turns out, has a whole school of thought behind it!

you learn something new every day

While editing an article at work today, I was searching Thesaurus.com for a synonym for experience, and somehow bumped into apologue – which I had never seen before. Alas, it was not the right word I had been seeking!

jack and jill

On 29 January, my friend K wrote this on his Facebook wall:

Nangka is jackfruit.
Chempedak is _________ ?

Naturally, I replied, ‘jillfruit!!! :P’

you learn something new every day

I came across the unfamiliar term amphora in a comment on a friend’s Facebook wall, and naturally googled. The word usually means ‘a type of ceramic vase with two handles‘, but has a whole host of other meanings as well!

aloha anaphora

One of my friends, B, who teaches at a top secondary school, posted this on Facebook on 6 January:

exasperatedly, I asked my class how come they’ve forgotten so many of the rhetorical devices we’ve taught them almost every year for three years now:

“Remember metaphors? Anaphora?”

Boy: “Huh? I only know Sephora.”

(Incidentally, while I did learn about metaphors in secondary school, I only learnt about anaphora in university……!)

Continue reading ‘aloha anaphora’

you learn something new every day

A lagniappe is ‘something given as a bonus or gratuity’. When I first saw this word, I thought it looked kinda Frenchy, and I was quite right! Check out its interesting etymology here!


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