Not feeling especially inspired this week, but I feel I owe myself to keep writing, so I gathered together some quotes and thoughts on words.
I love words, their meanings, their twisted logic. If you think about language and just how far we have come from the prehistoric grunts of our ancestors, you should be amazed at the number of words and meanings we have developed to attempt to communicate.
And yet so often we fail. Maybe we forget that words are just words without meaning and context to go with them. I started thinking about this the other day when I was watching a news clip about a project that brought criminal offenders and victims face to face.
Victims of crimes are often full of hate and the need for revenge, while criminals are often remorseless and defiant. Yet in many cases, with the proper preparation, bringing the two together to talk out the issues of why a crime occurred and/or how the crime has affected both parties, a sort of calm acceptance can take place.
It is the combination of words, physical presence and eye contact that equals communication. Let’s try to remember that.
Anyway, off my soapbox and on to the fun side of words. Hope you enjoy the following “facts” about words and language. If you do and let me know, maybe I’ll find some more fun facts!
Fun with Words
It took the editors of the first “Oxford English Dictionary” five years to reach the word “ant.”
Umchina, a Korean term meaning “mom’s friend’s son,” is used to describe a person who’s better at everything than you are.
Editor Bennett Cerf challenged Dr. Seuss to write a book using no more than 50 different words. The result? “Green Eggs and Ham.”
The Scots have a word for that panicky hesitation you get when you can’t remember someone’s name: tartle.
Tsundoku is the act of acquiring books or other reading materials and not reading them.
The term “lawn mullet” means having a neatly manicured front yard and an unmowed mess in the back.
Many years ago, “jay” was slang for “foolish person.” So when a pedestrian ignored street signs, he was a “jaywalker.”
In 1974, the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis published a paper titled “The Unsuccessful Self-Treatment of a Case of ‘Writer’s Block’.” It contained a total of zero words.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words.
Javier Santana writes:
In Spanish, French and Italian, “decisions” are something you “take” like a train that leads you somewhere new, whereas in English you “make” them like little pieces of your own creation. But in German you “meet” them, like friends.
Aren’t languages beautiful?
Yes, they are.