"I don't know if this subject has been dealt with in Word Ways, but I find it so interesting," Ray Love writes. "It's another confounding and confusing aspect of that cornucopia called the English language. If I am going out and it looks like rain I usually take an umbrella, and I may even take a jacket. Or if I'm going sight-seeing I'll take a camera. All three are tangible objects I am taking. I have them in my possession. However, there are other things we can take but don't actually 'take'. They are figures of speech, icing on the English language cake. Here are 20 things we can take but don't literally 'take'. Are there others?"
We can take a nap or take a snooze. We can take walk or take a hike or stroll. We can take a shower or take a bath. We can take a dive or take a fall. We can take a piss or take a leak. We can take a shit or take a crap. We can take a break or take a rest. We can take a fancy to or take a shine to. We can take a back seat to. We can take a picture or take a selfie. We can take a test. We can take a ride. We can take a bow. We can take a dip (in the pool). We can take a cab, a bus, a train, a boat or a plane. We can take a powder. We can take a risk or take a plunge. We can take a charge. We can take a part or take a role (in a movie). We can take a count. We can take a vacation or take a trip. We can take a rain check or take a pass. We can take a minute or take an hour (for lunch). We can take a flying leap or take a flying fuck at a rolling donut. We can take a pitch or take a base (baseball terms).
Note that some of Ray's examplescan have multiple meanings. "We take a count" usuallymeans we numerically count something," but it could also meanthat we are kidnapping Dracula. In the latter case, the meaning involvesa tangible object, the count himself, involved literally in gettingsnatched. "We take a bow" involves an unusual twist.Bypronouncing "bow" like the vowel soundin"bow-wow" we get the figurative meaning, and bypronouncing "bow" like the long 0 vowel sound in"bow and arrow" we get a literal meaning; that is,"We take a BOE" can mean "We bring a thing thatshoots arrows" or "We steal a thing thatshootsarrows."
POETIC LICENSE PLATE
"As I was coming home one evening I was stopped at astoplight," Ray recalls. "I noticed the car ahead of me intheright lane had letters on its license plate that spelled out what lookedlike a word. It read MRALARM. Then I glanced at the side of the van andsaw the name of a home security company. Clever, I thought. But as thelight changed and he drove away, I realized something even moreremarkable: The letters on his license plate were palindromic! Iwondered if he knew that."
Ray reports: "A major accident on a busy freewayalways causes thetrafictobackupformileslikethis."
MODERN ECONOMIC TIMES
And Ray pointsout that there are three basic necessities: Food, clothing, and ataxshelter.
Ray hasaready-made book review for the overworked critic:"It'sincorrect to say a book was writ or a book was wrote, but it mightbeperfectly all right to say a book waswrotten!"
BOOK REVIEW 2
Ray's BookReviewinspired me to take action. I wrote a book review for the bookThe End of the Alphabet. It's a romance novel, a love fable that will put you to sleep.My review: Zzz.
BillBrandt introduces a new wordplay category name: "There are anumber of named categories for word play phrases or sentences, such asTom Swiftes, Show Me, and Spoonerisms. If there isn't already, Ithink there should be a category name for word play sentences thatuse'and then.' Although they show up on numerous sites ontheinternet, I have not been able to identify the authors of the firstfiveexamples shown below. The rest are some that I have come up with. I havenot seen these examples anywhere so I think it is safe to claim them asmy own. If this group does not have a name yet, and until someone comesup with a better name, I propose to call them simply'AndThen.'"
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me. I didn't like my beard at first, and then it grew on me. I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger, and then it hit me. I used to be a banker, and then I lost interest. During the race he was ahead by a nose, and then he blew it. I was keeping an eye on a pregnant cow, and then it became apparent. I wondered where by boomerang went, and then it came to me. I started riding a bucking bronco, and then it threw me. I spilled coffee on my shirt, and then people started to view me with distain. I was a doctor that developed a temper, and then I lost my patients. I spoke to the minister in the elevator, and then I felt uplifted. I stole a scale in the department store, and then I got weigh with it. At first I lost money making chocolate candy, and then I made a mint. I asked for a job at the pin factory, and then I got stuck with all the work. I got a new job as an archeologist, and then my career was in ruins. I got a job at the bicycle shop, and then I had to pedal the merchandise. I wanted to install auto mufflers, and then I found the work was exhausting.
Bill Brandt notes that "InRichardLederer's book The Play of Words there is a chapter entitled 'Dog my Cats' in whichheintroduces the reader to the origin of some of the dog-word meanings,such as 'dog days', and invites the reader to guess themeaning of some other dog-words. The following is an expansion of whathe presented by using dog-words to tell a story.
Doggone it! I am dogtired of you calling me a dirty dog and dogging me about my dog and ponyshow saying it is nothing more than a dog's breakfast or a shaggydog story. It is not just dogma, it is about how to go from being anunderdog to becoming the top dog. If you want to play with the big dogsit takes more than just putting on the dog. The world is going to thedogs. It is a dog eat dog world. You cannot just dog it or let sleepingdogs lie. You need dogged determination if you want to win the dogfightand not end up in the doghouse. During the dog days of summer, unless itis raining cats and dogs, you can go down the road past the dogleg wherenext to the dogwood tree you will find a dog eared hot dog vendor whowas a dogface during the war and has the dog tags to prove it. He cantell you that my method is not just doggerel. If you believe him, all Ican say is 'Hot Dog!'"
Bill Brandt wrote a delightful jungle fablein the form of limericks. Strike up the bard! Here is"TheMusic."
A man with some musical features, Learned violin from his three teachers. "To the jungle I'll go," He said, "for I know, That music can sooth the wild creatures." He walked there for most of the day. He was sure he knew the right way. Then a clearing he found, So he sat on the ground, And his violin started to play. An elephant, python, and shrew, Arrived there and took in the view. In the clearing that glistened, They sat there and listened, The music was soothing this crew. A rhino, a lion, and bear, Heard music that sounded so fair. They came to the clearing, So they could be hearing, The music that danced in the air. A leopard jumped into the ring, And onto the player did spring. In a manner most straight, The player he ate, And the violin started to fling. The elephant jumped to his feet. "That music he played was quite neat. We thought it was soothing, And some thought it moving, So why did you pounce then and eat?" The leopard then lifted his head, Put his paw to his ear then and said, In a voice that was loud, But not a bit proud, "Speak up I can't hear what you said."
In 2008, Iowa City was designated a "Cityof Literature" by UNESCO. It was the third city of literature outof seven at this writing. In honor of this event, I wrote the poemthatfollows. It is titled "City of Literature," and each lineis an anagram of the title. It's a 12-line iambic trimeterquatrain with an ABAB rhyme scheme.
Free our tactility! I electrify a trout, Outrace fertility Erratic, yet I flout. I try out cat relief, Your facile titter. I try riot, cute leaf. You fire cat litter. I flirt, yet outrace A terrific toy lute, Trite fit, your lace. Airy title for cute. Erratic, yet I flout, Outrace fertility. I electrify a trout. Free our tactility!
Tristan Miller tells of anunusualgeographic onomastic situation: "On May 15, 2012, FrangoisHollande took office as President of France(and Co-Prince of Andorra).In French, the word "Hollande", like theEnglish"Holland", is a common name for the country moreformallyreferred to as the Netherlands. Does Hollande's ascendency markthe first time a country's head of state or head of governmentwas named for another country or nationality? (The UK'sBenjaminDisraeli was a near miss.)"
Jeff Grant has "a CD at home titled HERE'S TOTHE HEROES sung by THE TEN TENORS. It's interesting that theartists and title can be derived from just the seven lettersinTHRONES.
A fewyears ago I started writing a Xictionary, which is a dictionary ofwordsbeginning with the letter X. Some of these words appeared in Word Ways.The words and their definitions were all made up. Recently I found awebsite that was, basically, a dictionary of frequent typos andmisspellings. You type a word in, and the computer sends you a listback. It's great for playing Anti-Scrabble, where you have tousetypos and misspellings that have to be allowed in the game.Legalmisspellings can be verified using The Official Anti-ScrabblePlayersDictionary. Given the fact that to there are more incorrect spellingsthan correct ones of any word, it isn't surprising that thehardcopy OASPD is 260 volumes long, ten for eachletter.
Let's see at how it works. The 1st player lays down theletters of a mew (main entry word) and a pew (pseudoword). For example,the 1st player begins the game by selecting XICTIONARY and XICTOONARY.The 2nd player doesn't think this is a valid misspelling, so heor she gets volume 243 down from the bookshelf and turns to the entryfor XICTIONARY. Following that entry is a list of frequent typosandmisspellings of the mew. It doesn't matter whether the mew or thepew is a word or not. What matters is whether a pew is listed amongthemisspellings and typos entries for a mew. And of course there are lotsof ways to misspell any given word. Here's what appears undertheOASPD entry for XICTIONARY:
xictionary: xicitonary xictoinary xictionray sictionary cictionary zictionaryxoctionary xuctionary xkctionary xidtionary xivtionary xixtionaryxicrionary xicgionary xicyionary xictoonary xictuonary xictkonary xictiinary xictilnary xictipnary xictiomaryxictiohary xictiobary xictionsry xictionzry xictionqry xictionaeyxictionaty xictionagy xictionafy xictionart xictionaruxictionarh
The 1st player was right! XICTOONARY is a valid misspelling or typoof XICTIONARY. The pew correctly misspells the mew and scores points forthe 1st player. If the 1st player had played XICTIONARY as a mewandBICTIONARY as a pew, he or she would've lost points sinceBICTIONARY isn't on the pew list.
Alas, there isnoAnti-Scrabble, but there is a website that lists misspellings and typos,and the above list is the actual list you get when you type XICTIONARY.Here is the link, in case you want to pursue this very weird andfascinating languageconcept.http://frenchfraqfacorv.net/tvpo-trap/xictionarv/3/
DICTIONARY ENTRY OF THE DAY
EULAMELLIBRANCHIATA is defined in Web-3 as a synonymofEULAMELLIBRANCHIA. I couldn't vouch for it, though. I'veoften used the first one in reference to "looking at European orLos Angeles mellow tree branches in Iowa as you're saying goodbyein England." But I've never used the second word, andwithout the TA at the end, it makes very little sense.
MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME
Christian County is wet. Bourbon County is dry. Barren County has the most fertile land in the state.
Anil was inspired by the above facts to create some of his own. Ashe describes it, "I read this somewhere and can't vouchfor those facts. As far as I know they could be fifty or a hundred yearsold. But it would still be funny as an historical document. Theyinspired me to renew my acquaintance with KY counties and createsome'arty facts', mostly fabulous and untrue slander, aboutother KY counties (120 in all, third most of any state in the US). Howabout a similar expose of the counties of any other state? Texas hasthemost."
I. Simple Fictions Bracken County has no ferns. Graves County has compulsory cremation. Green County is a barren red desert. Hart County has no deer. Mason County bans Freemasonry. Pike County has no fish. Rowan County has no rowan trees. Warren County has no rabbits. II. Inapt Name-droppings Boone County was never visited by Daniel. Lee County was commanded by General Grant during the Civil War while Grant County wasn't. Lincoln County was never the residence of Abraham. Ohio County does not border Ohio or the Ohio River. (true) III. Getting More Personal Bath County has the dirtiest people in the state. Bell County doesn't ring a bell, does it? Huh? Butler County is too poor to have butlers. Clay County's soil is all sand. Union County wishes to secede.
Anil has come up with "yet more truthful number words fromWeb-3. FOUR, with four letters, isn't the only truthful numberword. Here are four or more from Web3.
SENARY is a 6 letter word meaning 6 of, of 6 or sextuple. SEPTOLE is a variant of septimole, septuple. OCTONARY means 8 of, of 8 or octuple. DECAMEROUS means 10 of, of 10 or decuple.
Contrast quaternary and quadruple (4 of) with 8 and 9 letters,quinary and quintuple (5 of) with 7 and 9 letters, septenary andseptuple (7) with 9 and 8 letters, and novenary and nonuple (9) with 8and 7 letters. But by stretching the point a bit, these othersmightqualify:
HEXANE, HEXENE, HEXINE, HEXYNE and HEXOSE are 6-carbon compounds. HEXODE and HEPTODE are 6- and 7-electrode vacuum tubes. HEPTANE, HEPTENE, HEPTINE, HEPTYNE and HEPTOSE are 7 carbon compounds. SEXTET is a group of 6 or a composition for 6 musicians. OCTARCHY is government by 8 persons. OCTODONT means of 8 teeth. OCTOFOIL has 8 leaves or layers. DECAHEDRON and DECAHEDRAL describe a 10-sided figure. DECEMVIRAL means of a ruling board of 10 decemvirs, a decimvirate.
These are not the only number names tousurpFOUR'S long-held throne. In earlier Kickshaws I nominatedthreeothers.
A is a 1-letter word that always and only means 1. NINETEEN AND TWO HALVES has 20 letters.
Andwith a slightly different truthfulness,
PENTASYLLABICandPENTASYLLABLE have 5 syllables."
Anil has found "another great bitof wordplay, a very apt and aware homophonic 'ladder',agraffito I saw in a street photo on Pinterest.
Real eyes Realize Real Lies.
To which I would add theotherside:
"Reel-eyes" Relies Real Lies.
Reel-eyes is the robotic viewerwhobelieves whatever is read or heard on a screen, eg amoviereel."
IN THE BIG INNING GENESIS WONONE
In the last Kickshaws, I asked the readers toanswer the King James Limerick Challenge--that is, to write a limerickbased on the first two verses of Genesis. I included the lines from theKing James version of the Bible, as shown here:
1 In thebeginning God crfeated the heaven and the earth.
2 And theearth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face ofthedeep.
Anil replied, "Jumpin' Jehovah!"and wrote the following limericks:
1. It was all begun by Jehovah In a bigger bang than a nova. But the world lacked shape, Sky blacker'n an ape, No thanks to Maria Sharapova.
2. ditto, with amore pertinent (ie, less impertinent) last line, which assumesthemulti-universe hypothesis, each universe starting from a cosmicegg:
Our universe came from Jehovah In a bigger bang than a nova. But the earth lacked form, Black sky was the norm. Just another of His infertile ova? 3. Jehovah started it all From nothing by making a call, But at first it was flat And blind as a bat, So He turned it into a fire ball.
4. This was my original quick go before readingyour version, but great minds think alike so I tried harder. Besides,like 3, it strays beyond your quote and into further events from therest of Genesis 1:2 et seq.
It started with a God Who created sky and sod, But it had no shape And was black as an ape So He gave it a beautiful bod.
Anil sent these little gemsofwordplay:. I especially favor the middle one. It offers a clear andclever challenge. My suggest is, well, see below ...
IrishHeadline (according to Rich Hall)
NAUTONYMS: a challenge for Susan (or anyone) not to retreatfrom.
How many sounded but not spelled tautonymslikeretreat can you find? Another possible phonic-only tautonym except that Im notsure of the pronunciation, is the Thai top-100 woman tennis playerLuksika Kumkhum. (The closest I can find to a good nautonym is hubbub, but does it work?.--DM)
A FUNNY CONTRONYM: According toWeb-3 Panax is a genus of herbs, while panax is a closely related tree formerly in Panax, indeed its type species,but it's now been moved to thegenusPolyscias! Who was betrayed here, panax or Panax? The botanists are probably still pan-axing over thisembarrassment.
Mike Morton reports that his "colleague Daniel Vlasicpointed out that his last name anagrams to,appropriately,Slavic! Can anyone come up with a similar anagram tidbit?
THE NEWEST MATH
An EVEN number namehas the letters spelling EVEN in it, and an ODD number name has theletters spelling ODD in it. The number names usually can'toverlap. For instance, in ONE HUNDRED MILLION FIVE, ODD overlaps withEVEN. Only one of the two embedded words can be used.
TWO HUNDRED FIVE MILLION O D ED VE N
Here are thenumericallyfirst (lowest value) of the four types:
sEVEN, an odd number, is the numerically first EVEN number name. One hunDreD, an even number, is the numerically first ODD number name. Add One hunDreD and SEVEN together, and you get One hunDreD SEVEN, the first ODDEVEN number. Add SEVEN thousand and One hunDreD together, and you get SEVEN thousand One hunDreD, the first EVENODD number.
Here are the numerically last (highest value) ofthe four types:
The numerically last EVEN number name is-- ninE hundred ninety nine Vigintillion ninE huNdred The numerically last ODD number name is-- nine hundred ninety nine vigintillin nine hundred ninety nine OctoDecillion nine hundred ninety nine thousanD The numerically last EVENODD number name is-- ninE hundred ninety nine Vigintillion ninE huNdred ninety nine OctoDecillion cxnine hundred ninety nine thousanD The numerically last ODDEVEN number name is-- nine hundred ninety nine vigintilliOn nine hunDreD ninEty nine noVemdEcillioN
The rules can be changed in different ways to produceadditionalchallenges. For instance, if EVEN and ODD can appear more than once inanumber word, here are some questions. For the answers, see AnswersandSolutions.
(1) What is the greatest number of EVENs thatcanappear in a number word?
(2) What is the greatest numberofODDs.
(3) If EVEN and ODD alternate in a number word, what isthe greatest number of EVENs and ODDs that can be involved?
(4) If ODD and EVEN alternate, what is the greatest number of ODDsand EVENs that can be involved?
Here are a couple of items I heard on the tube.
Some of the Olympic events are divided into long programs andshortprograms. One of the Olympic gold medal winners commented on two womenwho excelled, saying "those two were really on fire intheirshorts."
Channel 7 KVWVL reporter about thesnow:"The roads in Butler County are really covered, and we can attestto that because they are really covered."
ESREVER STAR TREK, THE BACKWARDS EPISODE
In this episode, some of the words and names are made bysimplyreversing the order of the letters. I chose words that suggestedcertainthings or that simply had a pleasing look when reversed. Turn onyournoisivelet, sit back, and xaler. The erutnevda begins.
Iwastrapped in the noollab with Captain Kert. He was injured--shot in thedexnij, also known as the bad luck bone. The shooter was a high levelGazgiz who used a high-powered moozmooz gun with a quickreggirt.
"Hey, Spoc, can you give me bowl of nicain?" Kertgasped. "Hurry. A pordmug or two will do."
Ihesitated. Nicain was a combination of nicotine and cocaine. However,the captain would think I was a daehtihs if I didn't give himsome. He looked bad, too, as if he'd been denooram on the Worldof the Screaming Sotatop, who would have kicked the rebos out of him ifhe got drunk.
"Eew!" Kert said."ForGod's sake, Spoc, give me the nicain.Eew!"
"I--I can't, Captain. All we have left is a bottle ofthis stuff called Nosiop."
"Oh, kcuf a kcud!Then give me that Onard. Quick, Spoc. Eew! I'm inpain."
Suddenly I heard phaser shots just outsidethecabin. The Gazgiz were firing double-barrelled ultraphasers. Motmot!Motmot! Captain Kert was lapsing into sessensselesnes. I could barelysay the word. I was scared that the Gazgiz would break through the hailhull and cut a heel hole in the holy hill of hoaryhell.
"Who'll help me," the Captaingroaned."I'm not a kcender. Spoc, are you a kcender. You have afunny ezepart. You have driew ears. Oh, look at theprettynachsart."
The Captain was going fast. He was startingto fall asleep. I tried to shake him awake, but he wasatsilatnemadnuf.
"Zzzatamzzar! I don't want toyalp anymore. Waszzub zzub zzub ... z ..." I handed him thebottle of Nosiop that we got from the Elves on PlanetElffaw.
"Here, Captain. Drink the Nosiop. It'sacure-all."
He drank. Then I took the bottle. I wasjust about to drink the rest of it when Captain Kert fell backwards anddied. I noticed in the mirror on the wall that "Nosiop"spells "Poison" backwards.
"Captain, Igave you a potion that kills," I said with a gasp. I wasshocked."Maerd! Maerd! O, Maerd! Captain. Now I will have seramthginabout your death for the rest of my life!"
To mysurprise, his eyes blinked open, and hespoke.
"Don't worry, Spoc," he said. "This isonly a television show."
THE TOM WALZ HALF FILLED COFFEE CUP NON AWARD
RobConnolly wrote the words, and I arranged them to form the picture. Itwas etched on a copper plaque and given to Tom Walz, founder ofUptownBill's Small Mall, a set of businesses owned and operatedbyhandicapped people.
Thisnon award represents our communal desire to not let Tom be made awarethat he is respected, admired, and loved by so very many whom he hasmade welcome and helped over all of his years not devoted to this cause.May other members of the Extend the Dream Foundation have accoladesbestowed upon them. Tom, the "Maverick Professor," willhave to settle for this.
ANSWERS AND SOLUTIONS
The Newest Math: (1) 66 EVENs, (2) 65 ODDs, (3) 12 EVENs,11 ODDs (4) 22 ODDs, 22 EVENs.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||figures of speech, palindromes, wordplay|
|Date:||May 1, 2014|
|Previous Article:||Anagram quiz 12.|
|Next Article:||The Orcadian dialect.|