Search found 3761 matches

by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 31, 2005 7:28 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: mnemonics
Replies: 16
Views: 12967

mnemonics

Phil, That was one from one of those elaborate stories with a punch line akin to "People who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones" and "oberknockity tunes but once." This particular one was for remembering the Pythagorean Theorem: ‘The square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sums of the squa...
by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 31, 2005 7:19 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: mnemonics
Replies: 16
Views: 12967

mnemonics

Mel, After having worked in physics for a good part of my life, with a stint in astrophysics, my method of remembering the ordering of the planets is still: M y V ery E ducated M other J ust S erved U s N ine P ickles, which I learned back in elementary school. ___________________ Ken – January 31, ...
by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:01 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: nondescript
Replies: 23
Views: 8649

nondescript

Nimo, You could say that. And I suppose one could also say that being plain sometimes makes some things distinctive! (<:)

Ken G – January 31, 2004
by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 31, 2005 4:02 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: nondescript
Replies: 23
Views: 8649

nondescript

Sorry Mel, but '57' will never cut it in the U.S. The number is etched into our collective psyche. Every Heinz ketchup bottle (think U.S. Presidential candidate John Kerry’s wife), of which there are millions staring us in the face from our refrigerators, to lunch counters, to steak houses, to super...
by Ken Greenwald
Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:28 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: nondescript
Replies: 23
Views: 8649

nondescript

Dale, For the purpose of answering this question in a definitive way, I am going with the following definitions” NONDESCRIPT: Lacking distinctive qualities; undistinguished or uninteresting; dull [and, of course, the root of the word is the Latin ‘describere,’ meaning write down, transcribe] NUMBER:...
by Ken Greenwald
Sun Jan 30, 2005 8:01 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: nondescript
Replies: 23
Views: 8649

nondescript

Dale, Before I begin my analysis I must comment that your question is poorly posed and is ambiguous because it is not clear whether you are using the inclusive or exclusive ‘between.’ That is, are 0 & 61 to be included or excluded? (&lt)

Ken
by Ken Greenwald
Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:12 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: triskaidekaphobia
Replies: 11
Views: 4929

triskaidekaphobia

Cassell Dictionary of Superstitions THIRTEEN : Of all the numbers, 13 is the most ill boding. The prejudice against the number 13 is almost universal and many people (who may be identified as having ‘tiskaidekaphobia’ [[[1910–15: 'triskaideka' is 13 in Greek]]) will go to considerable lengths to av...
by Ken Greenwald
Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:30 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: fight fire with fire
Replies: 2
Views: 1525

fight fire with fire

FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE means to argue or fight with an opponent using his tactics or ground rules, combat an evil or negative circumstance by reacting in kind. “When the opposition began to play dirty, we decided to fight fire with fire.” The proverb has been traced to Shakespeare’s ‘Coriolanus’ (160...
by Ken Greenwald
Sat Jan 29, 2005 6:30 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: pangrams
Replies: 9
Views: 4429

pangrams

Wiz, I plan on presenting this question to the IHCOA (International High Court of Pangram Adjudication) for a hearing. I foresee several possible scenarios: 1) They decide against, invoking the International Rules of Scrabble, and that’s that. 2) They decide against, but create a new category which ...
by Ken Greenwald
Sat Jan 29, 2005 7:35 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: absumo contra exoculo
Replies: 6
Views: 3706

absumo contra exoculo

I just resurrected this one from the archives and I was curious if any Latin scholars out their actually know what it means, if anything. I’ve had a few attempts at trying to translate Latin from its component words and failed miserably (e.g. see posting ‘Velut inter ignis luna minor’ at http://www....
by Ken Greenwald
Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:20 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: pangrams
Replies: 9
Views: 4429

pangrams

Mel, I have seen several pangrams that use each letter of the alphabet just once. But yours is the best one yet. The others use fairly obscure words and are hard to understand (see example below). Foxy nymphs grab quick-lived waltz. (29 letters) How quickly daft jumping zebras vex. (30 letters) The ...
by Ken Greenwald
Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:36 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: boob
Replies: 4
Views: 3612

boob

To firm things up a bit (<:), the first ‘appearance’ of BOOBS, in print that is - well perhaps not in photographic print - according to the Oxford Dictionary of Slang , was in 1929. However, neither they nor the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) provide the 1929 quote to back this up. The Random House...
by Ken Greenwald
Sat Jan 29, 2005 1:29 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Aplomado/Aplamado
Replies: 4
Views: 2313

Aplomado/Aplamado

Peter and Russ, I was unable to find the word ‘aplomado’ in any English dictionaries that I checked. Google translates it as ‘plumbed,’ by which I assume they mean make vertical. However, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department claims that ‘aplomado,’ which is the correct spelling, means ‘steel-gray...
by Ken Greenwald
Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:21 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: patteran / patrin
Replies: 4
Views: 2612

patteran / patrin

John, I’ve never seen the word, and I do like it, but my first impression was ‘how obscure can you get’ and I ain’t surprised that you can’t find it with OneLook.com. However, with ~7000 Google hits between it and its alternate spelling ‘patrin,’ I have to agree that it would seem that it might have...
by Ken Greenwald
Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:42 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: top it the knob
Replies: 4
Views: 5925

top it the knob

I found this anonymous explanation on a site dedicated to nautical terminology http://www.leicesterandleicestershire.com/Nautical_Words_Page5.htm . And although it is not gospel, after all our above stumblings around, this sounds far more convincing than anything we came up with. ___________________...