May 08, 2005

Eats(,) shoots and leaves

A Giant panda or an impolite cowboy in a saloon?

Like her editor I also romanticise the prospect of dining with Lynne Truss, the author of this esteemed insight into our punctuational crisis, at l'Apostrophe (a Parisian restaurant)

Language and the rules that bind it together emblazon an incredible palate of colourful possiblities from which the most expressive artistic creations may sporn their genesis (or is that a double tautology?) Puns are an endless source of amusement. Exemplis gratis:

ounce – the snow leopard or 1/16th of a pound
pound – 1/14th of a stone or a lock-up for stray animals
stone – an instrument for killing adulteresses in certain countries or 1/2240th ton

Did you know?
'Victoria, England's Queen' is an anagram of 'rules a nice and quiet land'
'Schoolmaster' is an anagram of 'the classroom'
'A man – a plan – a canal – Panama' is a palindrome (the same statement may be read from right to left)

26 little-known lexicographical gems for the day:

Aboulia – loss of willpower or the ability to make decisions
Bushido – Japanese code of chivalry
Cerumen – ear wax
Demijohn – a broad glass bottle for holding wine with handles and a narrow neck
Endomorph – a person with a typically stout corporal dimensions
Friable – having the property of being easily reduced to crumbs/ powder
Germicide – killing germs
Heuristic – encouraging desire to learn discover
Indaba – an international Scout conference
Jemmy – a burglar's short crow-bar
Kermesse – a cycle race in an urban area
Lucipotomy – the art of creating white horses, as may be seen on the chalky hillsides of Wiltshire
Marmelise – to thrash, defeat heavily, destroy etc.
Nudibranch – a shell-less marine gastropod with gills exposed on the back and sides of the body
Oubliette – a dungeon with no opening except at the top, into which a prisoner could be precipitated and then forgotten about
Pantophobia – a morbid fear of everything
Quinquagesima – the Sunday preceding Lent or fifty days before Easter
Remuage – the process of turning or shaking wine bottles so that the sediment collects at the cork end for removal
Spry – nimble or agile
Teapoy – a small tri or quadripedal table
Uranous – uranium in lower valency
Velleity – volition in its lowest form – i.e. wanting to do something not quite badly enough to warrant elevating oneself from one's fundamental support
Wobblegong – a carpet shark (I still don't know what this means, but it does fire the imagination, doesn't it)
Xenonium – a present given to a stranger
Yammer – to lament or wail
Zugzwang – a blockade position in chess where any move is disadvantageous to the the blockaded player

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. oo, a well researched blog entry. Nice.

    I have to ask though, how is "Victoria, England's Queen" an anagram of "Rules a nice and quiet land"? Where did the "v" go?

    08 May 2005, 20:36

  2. Corrigendum: Victoria, England's Queen is actually an anagram of 'Governs a nice, quiet land'

    08 May 2005, 21:28

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