Search found 7830 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 03, 2005 11:12 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Name of word puzzles?
Replies: 8
Views: 4104

Name of word puzzles?

These are called 'palindromes'. If you search for that word on this site, you will encounter quite a few postings devoted to them.
by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 03, 2005 6:53 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Just joined site!
Replies: 14
Views: 2626

Just joined site!

Walter, perhaps what Hans meant was that this site has driven him towards other forms of addiction. Surgeons (and physicians) have good access to happy-making meds, you know! ;-)
by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 03, 2005 3:14 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: same-store sales = comps
Replies: 5
Views: 1241

same-store sales = comps

What Ken is describing is simply a retail accounting method that excludes factors that can be predicted to produce anomalous revenue results; one such is the new store that will take some time to generate sales momentum, and which is therefore not included in the calculations. The financial results ...
by Erik_Kowal
Sun May 01, 2005 9:22 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: whole shebang
Replies: 2
Views: 2225

whole shebang

Ken, that was a most interesting excavation of the history of the word, even though nothing conclusive emerged.

When you started off your discussion with your account of the dark matter seminar, I also expected you to mention the "whole shebang" theory of the origin of the Universe...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:49 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: fruitless search
Replies: 7
Views: 1988

fruitless search

How appropriate to spend eternity looking for something in Time...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Apr 29, 2005 10:36 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Heavens no vs Hell no
Replies: 7
Views: 3889

Heavens no vs Hell no

Maybe what phrase falls most readily from your lips depends on which part of Britain you're from. If I invoked any kind of hypothetical hangout of the gods to express disbelief or disagreement, it would probably be "Good Heavens no!" in preference to "Heavens no!" (I'm from the Thames Valley region,...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:45 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: EU Language
Replies: 3
Views: 1707

EU Language

Hmm. I first saw this spoof in 1997, and it is still fairly funny. However, it is worth mentioning that German is not in fact one of the principal languages in which EU business is conducted, even though Germans might wish it otherwise. According to the abstract of an article by Paul Wood in the Aug...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:13 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: New ROOTs?
Replies: 20
Views: 3652

New ROOTs?

Of course, the 1940 description makes it clear that the '-on' suffix in 'nylon' was not novel, and the selection of the 'nyl-' prefix was influenced by both 'no' and 'new', even if merely negatively. So one could still argue that the coinage 'nylon' is only novel up to a point.
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:19 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: pattern of intelligence
Replies: 5
Views: 1275

pattern of intelligence

Hmm. I can see that while this might be important in a patterned quilt, the element of repetition does not seem to me to be essential for a pattern to be identified in intelligence data of the kind that Bliar was referring to. While some kinds of activity may be repetitive (e.g. when someone makes a...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:22 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: pattern of intelligence
Replies: 5
Views: 1275

pattern of intelligence

I take this to mean that Blair believes that Britain's intelligence service very rarely makes mistakes in its conclusions about the significance of patterns of intelligence data ; here 'pattern' is being used to mean 'a cluster of items of information that collectively point to a particular conclusi...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:05 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: suicide shift / suicide blonde
Replies: 5
Views: 2539

suicide shift / suicide blonde

That last posting implicitly raises the question of whether the 'suicide shift' was the automobile-like foot-operated clutch which would engage drive even when the rider needed his feet on the ground to keep his machine stable, or the hand-operated gear lever that left only one hand grasping the han...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:42 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Just that
Replies: 4
Views: 1939

Just that

It means that Chiara Mastroianni has tried to keep her private life private.

Another example:

Employer: "Today, I want you to concentrate on identifying new sales leads."
Employee: "Yes, we were already planning to do just that."
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:34 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: international rate strategist??
Replies: 2
Views: 1264

international rate strategist??

He probably helps corporations and/or the bank he works for to devise strategies for coping with either currency exchange rate or interest rate fluctuations, or both. Without more context it's not possible to be sure which it is.
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:47 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: bailiwick
Replies: 13
Views: 3115

bailiwick

According to Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, the first element of the word, which dates from 1425-75, comes from Middle English 'baillie', which itself comes from Old French 'bailli', and is a variant of 'bailiff'. The same source states that 'bailiff' dates from 1250-1300 and comes f...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Apr 22, 2005 4:36 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: You're welcome
Replies: 38
Views: 10231

You're welcome

Ken, what will happen when, as seems inevitable, you cross swords with the Pope over some matter? Will that not be a case of the irresistible force (may it be with you) meeting an immovable object?