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quod·li·bet \Quod"li*bet\ (kw[o^]d"l[i^]*b[e^]t), n. [L., what you please.] 1. A nice point; a subtilty; a debatable point. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) Also quodlibertarian and quodlibetic - purely academic!

English Spelling? Does English really work this way?

* Pronounce "ghoti".
* Pronounce "Phtholognyrrh".
* Spell "coffee" completely wrong.
Go to the bottom of the page for answers!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

For a List of Rhode Island Use of English Guide to Rhode Island Language Stuff

 For Example:

Jeet? Have you eaten yet? The appropriate response (assuming you haven't eaten) is "No, joo?"

Jimmies A liberal sprinkling of these can brighten up a dull, dreary ice cream cone. We hear they're also called Ants in the Woonsocket area. Funny thing is, you'd be hard pressed to find "jimmies" in the baking section of a Rhode Island grocery store, where they are invariably called "sprinkles." In recent years the term "jimmies" has come under scrutiny as possibly having a racist origin. Snopes ranks this claim as "probably false."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grawlix, &$(#*&@!

A good use for some Dingbats! Grawlix was coined by Mort Walker. He also came up with words for various imaging elements in cartooning as presented in his book of 1980, The Lexicon of Comicana. Words like Plewds 'Flying sweat droplets that appear around a character's head when working hard or stressed.' or Agitrons 'Wiggly lines around an object that is shaking.' More at the Wikipedia link.

Nice to know there is a jargon for such stuff!


Friday, October 24, 2008

New Janus Word - Barrack

A new Janus Word to add to my list.


(BAR-uhk, the first syllable is the same as in barrel)
verb tr., intr.: 1. To shout in support: to cheer. 2. To shout against: to jeer.
(A.Word.A.Day for 10/24/2008)


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sam Gamgee's poem to the Troll.

Troll sat alone on his seat of stone,
And munched and mumbled a bare old bone;
For many a year he had gnawed it near,
For meat was hard to come by.
Done by! Gum by!
In a cave in the hills he dwelt alone,
And meat was hard to come by.
As a Senior in High School I memorized this poem. It is still one of my favorites. There is a full transcription of the poem by J.R.R Tolkien, with comments, at Troll sat alone on his seat of stone.

I can still recite large parts of it.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wordie [wûrd • ē]

A new On-line center for words: Wordie [wûrdē]. Like Flickr, but without the photos.

Wordie lets you make lists of words and phrases. Words you love, words you hate, words on a given topic, whatever. Lists are visible to everyone but can be added to by just you, a group of friends, or anyone, as you wish.

If you're feeling social, join the discussion. Wordies are friendly! Add citations and comments to words and lists. See who else has listed the same words. Check out a random word.

Subscribe to Errata, the Wordie blog via RSS or Twitter for announcements and the latest lexicographical dish. Suggestions? Chime in on features or bugs. Create your free account to get started.

Sounds like my kind of place. Maybe I'll 'see' you there!


Monday, July 7, 2008


A new word in the updated Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Mondegreen is a fun word to know about. 

Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy. A kid'll eat ivy, too. Wouldn't you?
...[From] part of a popular nonsense song of 1943 called "Mairzy Doats"--per ASCAP Hit Tunes booklet, written by Milton Drake, Al Hoffman,and Jerry Livingston. The beginning is more or less rendered:
Mairzy doats and doazy doats, and little lamzi tivy. A kiddely tivy too, Wood'n you?
Is a prime example, though nonsense. The term Mondegreen comes from Percy's Reliques:
Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl Amurray, [sic]
And Lady Mondegreen.
Where the final line is actually "And laid him on the green."

I always thought a line from an old tune was "Just for your coveted sequence." when it is actually "Just for you, covered in sequins."

  • ghoti is pronounced: fish, 'gh' as in tough, 'o' as in women and 'ti' as in motion! Attributed to George Bernard Shaw by some. Visit GHOTI for a rant against this "joke" about english pronuciation.
  • Phtholognyrrh pronounced: Turner, According to a Mr. Turner who insisted on signing his name that way according to Robert M. Rennick in I Didn't Catch Your Name, Verbatim® Vol. XXix, No2. Mr Turner explains: " Look, the phth is like phthisic, which is pronounced t; olo is like colonel, which is pronounced ur; gn as in gnat is pronounced n; and yrrh as in myrrh, is pronounced er. So you have Turner. Nothing could be simpler." Reader's Digest, Jan . 1941, p. 42
  • coffee spelled completely incorrectly is kauphy! or kaughy!