Friday, April 16, 2010

Funniest Words in English

[Well, they sound funny anyway.. Updated: April 16th, 2010]

  • Hodge-podge - don't know what a hodge or a podge is, independently, so together I'm thinking it's a "bunch of stuff that we don't know how to name" [note: see the addition of 'Hotchpotch' at the bottom of this article]
  • Ramshackle - I know what a ram is, and a shack, and a shackle; could this be a ram tied up to a shack, and likely not too happy at the situation?
  • Bunk - when I was a kid, you slept here at summer or religious indoctrination camp (ie, "church camp"); now its apparently what comes from the mouths of politicians, bankers, financial analysts, and televangelists
  • Enema - yer mom says "what kind of ice cream would you like", and you reply, "just give me any, ma!" That's what I thought growing up, until I got the real thing
  • Boondoggle - whatever it is, you know it's not good and you don't want to get involved
  • Donnybrook - throw two groups of drinkers together from different countries, this is what you get. you know one when you see one.
  • Hootenanny - I've known musicians in every era since the 60's, so I have a sign in my house that says "No Hootenannies", the word is more fun than the actual event
  • Doodle - everyone does it, not many will admit it, but its funny
  • Banana - fun to say even if you add more syllables. I like 5, then it rhymes with "Roseannadanna"
  • Pajamas - is this singular or plural, can you have one?
  • Armadillo - some type of military vehicle isn't it?
  • Folderol - sounds like something for drinking, as in "last night I was so ripped I folderol over the place"
  • Whippoorwill - what did poor Will do?
  • Loquacious - famous Latin philosopher, or maybe a character on Star Trek, "Spock, go get Loquacious, he knows intergalactic philosophy"
  • Testicle - led to testify, testimony, testament, as you swear you grab the family jewels when you do it (or as the Bible says in it's original TESTAMENT, "Abraham grabbed his thigh" - close enough!)
  • Ne'er-do-well - funniest expression ever for deadbeats, has to be Shakespeare
  • Roustabout - see "ne'er-do-well" cuz it's funnier
  • Oil - is an ancestral clue, pronounced with two or three syllables, as in "aw-eee-yull" down south, sometimes "awl", and pronounced "earl" on The Honeymooners, "oh-ill" elsewhere
  • Knickerbockers - and can you believe people would hear that and still wear em? "yep, I gotta get me some of them knickerbockers, see what those are all about"
  • Haberdashery - a place for fast food from the middle east?
  • Peccadillo - this could mean several things, one is a small armadillo
  • Swamp - usually said with two syllables, if you're from one, it's not so funny.
  • Impudent - from Lawrence of Arabia, "you, sir, are an impudent rascal." (it's funnier if the British use it)
  • Elbow - you have to pause between syllables, and when you think about it, where did this word come from? why are there no other bows on the body? the kneebow, the neckbow.
  • Pumpkin - this is a compound word made of two smaller words and funny that way too cuz it's one step past kissin cousins
  • Burly - yes sir, he was a burly man, not a girly girl or a wimpy boy
  • Gargoyle - wait, is this English? gargle came from the sound gargoyles make during rainstorms anyway [I looked it up, the origin is Middle English, and it's spelled the original way]
  • Oblivion - it's either an Irish valet or a Greek author, "O'blivion, let's go with the seersucker today, and fetch me that new volume of Oblivion as well"
  • Gerrymander - a small amphibian? some cricket position, as in "he's now starting gerrymander for Manchester"
  • Anonymous - most prolific writer in any language; rhymes with "Hieronymous"
  • Booger - funny no matter how you use it, applies to many as in "that ole booger!"
  • Petticoat - a small coat? and it goes... where? it's a coat for what exactly?
  • Copacetic - I think my granny used to prescribe this homeopathic remedy as a pharmicist in the 1920's before it was declared illegal
  • Weenie - we laugh at em, we make fun of em, and we eat em!
  • Pomegranate - let's see, what shall we call yon fruit? is perhaps related to granite?
  • Rutabaga - that street urchin was certainly a pest, have you ever seen a rutabaga?
  • Jellyfish - is it edible, on a sandwich with tartar and peanut butter? now that's just plain disgusting..
  • Daffodil - either a cartoon character or an Irish herb
  • Buttocks - from Gump Fiction, "I'm gonna get medieval on your buttocks!"
  • Sabbatical - this can't be good, I think it involves devil worship and naked dancing in groups

Added from comments

  • Kumquat - this is a word you don't say in mixed company, and all kids know it's a certain unmentionable body part
  • Discombobulated - I had to be gassed to have this done once

Additions [4.16.10]

  • Skullduggery - anything requiring skulls can't be good, no matter what duggery is

  • Hoosegow - from Mexican Spanish husgado, meaning 'judged', hence jailed, perhaps just after some skullduggery

  • Kowtow - we all do it, we just don't talk about it

  • Possum - they're not quite Pogo, more like tree rats with a name they deserve

  • Hotchpotch - is actually from Old French for "shake the pot", maybe while cooking up some possum stew

  • Gibberish - from the 11 c. Arab story of Geber, who wrote treatises on nonsense to avoid charges of dealing with the devil

  • Guffaw - when just a giggle and a chortle aren't quite enough

  • Crawdad - sound yummy don't they? I'd like to fry me up a skillet of them crawdads, with a little butter and pepper.. long as they don't 'stick in yer craw' (must be your 'gullet'!)

  • Cigar - we all know what it is but the origin is disputed, either (a) from Spanish cigarra for 'cicada', the insect, due to same shape, or (b) from Mayan word sigar for 'to smoke'; maybe in ancient Spain they smoked cicadas, like Granny on the Hillbillies smoked crawdad ["where's yer granny, Jethro?" - "She's at home smokin crawdads" - "We never tried that before!"]

  • Tomfoolery - anyone can do it, you don't have to be named Tom, but apparently someone named Tom must've been the first to have gotten caught at it; now it's the national pastime

[This will obviously be a work "always under construction", as this list will grow and grow - Will S.]

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just Another F***ing Post!

[If this offends you, get the f*** outta here!]

Well, the origins of f*** are supposedly just this, perhaps a myth, but a reasonable one: After years of a puritan king in England, when he was gone and Edward took over, a new era of relaxed inhibitions and libertine social behavior took over. [See "The Libertine" with Johnny Depp]. The king decreed that not only could women act on stage now, but that he wanted everyone to have sex as often as possible, hence "Fornicate Under Command of the King" became shortened to simply "f***".

Ironically it was considered much more polite a word in society than "intercourse", which was the F-word of its day! This has to be British; over there the word "fanny" refers to a woman's front side and not the derriere, and is considered a very impolite word.

F*** has generally become one of those words like "run", that has so many uses that is serves for nearly every purpose. F***in-A to that!
[Someone emailed me the basis of this list yrs ago, then someone recently as well - so I'm sure this list has been circulating for decades by now - I merely added some more and here it is.. comment with even more, you're so f***ing smart!]

1) Surprise - “What the f*** are you doing here?”
2) Fraud - “I got f***ed by the car dealer.”
3) Resignation - “Oh, f*** it!”
4) Trouble - “I guess I'm f***ed now.”
5) Aggression - “F*** YOU!”
6) Disgust - “F*** me.”
7) Confusion - “What the f***...?”
8) Difficulty - “I don't understand this f***ing business!”
9) Despair - “F***ed again....”
10) Pleasure - “I couldn't be f***ing happier.”
11) Displeasure - “What the f*** is going on here?”
12) Lost - “Where the f*** are we?”
13) Disbelief - “un-f***ING-believable!”
14) Retaliation - “Up your f***ing ass!”
15) Denial - “I didn't f***ing do it.”
16) Perplexity - “I don't know f*** about it.”
17) Apathy - “Who really gives a f*** anyway?”
18) Greetings - “How the f*** are ya?”
19) Suspicion - “Who the f*** are you?” and "What the f*** are you doing here?"
20) Panic - “Let's get the f*** out of here!”
21) Directions - “F*** off.”
22) Awe - “How the f*** did you do that?”
23) Paranoia - "Who the f*** are you looking at?"
24) Doom - "We're in some deep f***ing shit now!"
25) Monarchistic Doom - "We're royally f***ed now.."
26) Agnosticism - "F*** God!"
27) Bravado - "Yeah? - you wanna f*** with ME?"
28) Disgust - "Now that's just f***ing sick."
29) Rage - "I'm gonna f*** you up real good!"
30) Inebriation - "Man, he was totally f***ed up."
31) Intelligent Retort - "Yeah, well f*** you, too!"
32) Greatness - "Man, that was some f***ing concert!"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crazy for Synonyms for Insane

For some reason, there are far more words for the insane than we probably need. They say Eskimos have 26 words for snow; we have more than that for the psychotic. They have different kinds of snow, we have different kinds of psychos, some dangerous, some fun, some eccentric. Euphemisms, like “not playing with a full deck”, follow the synonyms.

A – Aberrant, abnormal
B – Bent, berserk, bonkers, bananas, batty
C – Crazy, cracked, certifiable, cuckoo
D – Daffy, demented, deranged, disturbed, delirious, demonic
E – Eccentric, extreme
F – Flaky, fanatical, Freudian, flipped
G – Goofy, gone, ga-ga
H – Hysterical, haywire
I – Insane
J – Janus, juiced
K – Kooky
L – Looney, lunatic, loco
M – Mad, mental, maniacal, multiple-personality
N – Nuts
O – Odd, off
P – Psychotic, peculiar, perverted, possessed
Q – Quixotic, quirky, quack
R – Remedial
S – Screwy, schizo, split
T – Tilted, troubled
U – Unbalanced, unhinged, unintelligible
V – Void
W – Wacky, withdrawn
X – Xenophobic (ok, so I'm stretching!)
Y – Yahoo, ya-ya
Z – Zany

There’s also the fun crazies who are: madcap, frivolous, ditzy, saucy, topsy-turvy, wild… and from above: wacky, and zany – these are harmless crazies you’d like to hang out with.

People who are bonkers can be these nouns: card, pistol, loon, cuckoo, nutcase, case study, crackers, bananas, bats, fruitcake.

They can be doing other things: out to lunch, waiting for the wagon (men in white coats), zoning out, losing their marbles, flying high, marching to a different drummer, coming from left field, going solo… even "talking to God" (normal for some but don't tell the shrink, or you may be "certifiable")

There’s been a lengthy list of mental euphemisms circulating on the net since the 80’s called “full deck-isms” (someone didn’t know the word euphemism). Of the thousand or so entries, these are the more humorous entries.

He’s a few fries short of a Happy Meal.
He couldn’t pour water out of a boot with the instructions on the heel.
He doesn’t just “know nothing”; he doesn’t even suspect anything.
He has a one-way ticket on the Disoriented Express.
He fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.
He’s so dense that light bends around him. [Quantum physics joke]
I’d like to buy him for what’s he’s worth, and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth.
If he gets any denser, the geocentric theory of the universe will come true.
If what you don’t know can’t hurt you, he’s practically invulnerable.
If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean.
He is living proof that nature does not abhor a vacuum.
He is proof that evolution actually can go in reverse.
If he raced fifty yards with a pregnant woman, he’d come in third.
He’s so thick that mind readers charge him half price.
She suffers from Clue Deficit Disorder.
The twinkle in his eyes is actually the sun shining through his ears.
He’s unclear which of Newton’s three laws keeps his ears apart.
He’s as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle.

Here are some new ones that I’ve added:
From Anthony Weller’s book The Siege of Salt Cove: “His boots are not laced all the way to the top.”
From jazz-blues singer Mose Allison: “His mind is on vacation and his mouth is working overtime.”
From Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden: “All in my head? Well, you can look up there all you want and you know what you’ll find? Nothing!”

_____________ (c)2009, William L. Sinclair ____________

Monday, September 28, 2009

Word Origins You Never Knew

It's pandemonium in bedlam!

Adam’s apple -– a bit of the “forbidden apple” that stuck in Adam’s throat; there’s no mythological explanation why Eve doesn’t also share this “piece of the fruit”.
Bedlam – in 1402, St. Mary of Bethlehem in London became a lockup for the insane; cockneys corrupted Bethlehem into “bedlam”, which came to mean any madhouse or “scene of utter confusion”. Tom and/or Bess O’Bedlam are wandering lunatics.
Berserk – named for an 8th century Norse hero, who wore bearskins (berserk) that he wore into battle, which he supposedly fought with reckless fury; his sons were known as Berserkers, a name later used for a class or warriors, and much later, a science fiction series from the 1960’s. Means “to go into a frenzy or rage.”
Bevinism – a mixed or confused metaphor; from Ernest Bevin, British cabinet minister after the war, who said “If you open Pandora’s Box, you’ll find it full of Trojan horses.” Led to Golwynism after movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn said “an oral contract is not worth the paper its printed on”.
Booze – a Col. E.G. Booze sold whiskey in log cabin shaped bottles; became popular during Tyler’s presidential campaign; has become a name for cheap hard liquor.
Boycott – named for Capt. Charles Boycott, a land agent in Ireland who refused to lower rents after a disastrous harvest and attempted to evict tenants. His servants departed and no one would sell him food; he gave up and returned to England and his name means “to abstain in dealings with, in an effort to coerce or intimidate”.
Chauvinism – for Nicholas Chauvin, soldier of the 1st Rep. of France; famous for patriotism and adoration of Napolean; his name was used in a popular play and became a byword, but for bigotry and prejudice.
Comic / comical (and coma) – from Comus, Roman god of “festive mirth”. The god was often found in a “drunken stupor”, giving us also the word coma.
Criss-cross – short for "Christ on the cross" - when you made "your mark", it wasn't an X, but a criss-cross, or you were "swearing to Christ" that this was your mark.
Curfew – from the French covre-feu, or “cover fire”, the time when lights were to be put out, after ringing of the evening bell. Brought to England after the Norman conquest.
Denim – named because it was imported from de Nimes in France, a manufacturing center before the French Revolution. “Fiddle-de-dee” – from Italian Fedidio, Fe di Dio, “by the faith of God”; has come to mean “nonsense”, a dismissal of what the other person has to say.
Dollar – a coin minted from a rich silver mine near Prague was called a Joachimsthaler, then a Thaler, which became “dollar” in English; means “from the valley”.
Expedite – from Saint Expeditus, advocate of urgent causes; supposedly a Roman soldier martyred in Armenia in the 4th century
Fantasy – Roman god of sleep Somnus (also called Hypnos) had an assistant was called Phantasus, who tricked people into sleep with hallucinatons or fantasies.
Ferris wheel – a giant wheel with passengers built for the Chicago Exposition of 1893 by a “tinkerer” from Galesburg, Illinois named G.W. Gale Ferris.
Frank – now means candor; from the Franks, named for their weapon, frankon or “spear”; originally nobles meant “free men”, hence frank became synonymous with free noblemen.
Gaga – “mentally unbalanced”; from paintings of Paul Gauguin, who some saw as evidence of an unbalanced mind! In French it means “foolish old man”.
Gerrymander – is to unfairly redivide a district to give someone an unfair advantage in an election. From Eldridge Gerry, when governor of Massachusetts redivided the state’s districts; an opponent said “it looked like a salamander”, and anti-Gerry news editor Benjamin Russell said, “make it a Gerrymander!” and the name stuck.
G.I. -– US military soldiers; first called Government Issue Joes, then G.I. Joes, then finally just “G.I.’s”.
Goodbye – originally a contraction of “God be with ye”
Googol (now commonly spelled “Google”) – this was actually invented in 1940 by a 9 yr old nephew of a mathmatics professor (Dr. Kasner) to describe a huge number, 10 to the hundredth power. First thought to have come from sounds, “goo” being a messy substance enjoyed by kids; later thought to have come from the comic character Barney Google.
Gossamer – from the British, goose summer, the time in fall to eat the fatted goose; a.k.a. “Indian summer”. Spider webs during this time are said to “glisten with dew”, so it now applies to thin or translucent material.
Gun – originally for cannon, later small arms. Both gunn and hilda mean “war” in Norwegian; likely from female name Gunnhilda; in 1431, a war inventory list for Windsor Castle lists a “missile thrower named Lady Gunnhilda”.
Hocus-pocus – from the Latin chant “hoc est corpus Domini”, from communion Mass; it now means “nonsense” and is a takeoff on the religious phrase. A playground variation is “hocus pocus dominocus”. From these come hoax (ruse or practical joke) and hokum (fakery), and hokey-pokey (a kid’s song and dance, "that's what it's all about").
Hoodlum – likely a Cockneyed “back-spelling” of Muldoon (“noodlum” became “hoodlum”); this was a common Cockney practice: police became ecilop, then slop.
January – Saturn ruled Italy with Janus, the two-faced god of beginnings, looking both forward and backward. Also led to janitor.
Lush – (as related to drinking) a reference to the drinking club “The City of Lushington”, formed in 1750, for hard drinkers. Also Irish slang for “to eat and drink”.
Mafia – this is a reversal, a capitalized word from a common noun, the Arabic mahyah for “boasting”; came to mean “lawlessness” in Sicilian, later used by the underground terrorist organization, now a worldwide crime cartel.
Maverick – usually means “unbranded animal, particularly a calf”; from Samuel Maverick, a 19th century Texas banker who had to take a herd of cattle as payment, but had no land; he leased an island in the Nuecces River, but in winter or at low water, the unbranded cattle would wander onto neighboring ranchland, causing the remark “there goes another Maverick”.
Money – from Juno Moneta, the Roman goddess Juno when presiding over the Roman temple where coins were minted; Moneta became the name for the coinage, then a synonym for “money”; Moneta’s Temple became mint.
Monkey wrench – type of wrench invented in 1856 by a Yankee named Monk, employed by Bemis and Call in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Nightmare – Mara was a Scandanavian demon that inspired fear, horror, and distress.
Opportune -– Portunus was the Roman god that protected harbors (portus). Ob means “before”, and opportune means “seasonable or timely”. Opportunity is a “time or place favorable for a purpose.”
Pandemonium – in Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, it’s the capital of Hell and site of Satan’s palace; from Greek pan (“all”) and daimon (“demon”). Now means “wild uproar, infernal noise, or wildly lawless or riotous place”.
Panic – is from the God Pan, god of nature and wilderness, also god of pastures and animals; the name means “everywhere”. (a god being ‘everywhere’ sends men into a panic…)
Pell-mell - meaning “reckless confusion or headlong”. Named for Pall Mall, the London center of clubs in the 16th century; the game was similar to croquet, but the players all rushed heedlessly to strike the ball, leading to the expression.
Podunk – the name of a small Algonquin tribe on the Podunk river in Connecticut; now means “small town.”
Posh – originally P.O.S.H., a steamer ticket abbreviation meaning “Port out, starboard home”, for the English passengers on ships to India who wished to be opposite the sun in each direction during the trip
Romance – means “made in the Roman manner”, or romanesque. Rome also gave its name to Romaine lettuce, and the French romier (pilgrim to Rome) led to roam. In slang, Rome means anything large or great.
Sandwich – named for the corrupt 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu (1718-1792); two or more slices of bread enclosing a thin layer of meat or cheese; John consumed these while gambling without having to stop playing; he copied the habit from the Romans.
Silhouette – for Étienne de Silhouette (1709-1767), Controller General of France, taxed people so heavily he had to resign; his hobby became cutting portrait profiles out of black paper; taken as symbols of his stinginess, they were given his name.
Sophomore / sophisticated – the Sophists (5th cen. B.C.) derived their name from the Greek for “skilled” or “clever”; first to offer systematic education, later disparaged for oversubtle, self-serving reasoning. Sophomore means “wise fool”, and Sophie means “wise woman”.
Sorcerer – Sors was the Greek god of change; French was sorcier, which became sorcerer in English, meaning “magician or wizard”. Sort also came from Sors.
Teddy bear – plush child’s toy in the shape of a bear, named for President Teddy Roosevelt, likely for his penchant for hunting. Said to have been named just after he refused to shoot a baby bear
Tontine – a form of annuity, in which shares from each deceased “member” are added to the groups until the last survivor “inherits them all”; devised by a Neapolitan banker named Lorenzo Tonti.
Ukulele – Hawaiin for “little flea”, the nickname of its inventor, Edward Putvis, a British officer who played the instrument rapidly, like “little fleas dancing” on the strings.
Upside down – a “state of disorder”, formerly “upsedown”, also “topsy-turvy”. From the time of Queen Elizabeth, no one knows the origins.
Valentine – supposedly from Saint Valentine (there are three on record – sometimes ‘your name gets you in’!); legend has it he made secret gifts to the poor (not to ‘fantasy loves’). It’s likely just coincidence that the saint’s day falls in early spring as well as the ‘lover’s festival’.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Creative Puns

[Someone sent me this email so I thought anyone into Word Humor would enjoy it! - Thanks to Melissa]
1. The roundest knight at King Arthur’s Round Table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated in an algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
6. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
13. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, “You stay here, I’ll go on a head.”
14. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
15. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said, “Keep off the Grass.”
16. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, “No change yet.”
17. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
18. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
19. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
20 A backward poet writes inverse.
21. In a democracy, it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism, it’s your count that votes.
22. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
23. Don’t join dangerous cults, practice safe sects!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jumping the Shark

Many people have heard this expression and don't know the meaning, so here's the Wikipedia blurb on a funny incident from the tv show Happy Days:

Jumping the shark is a metaphor for the tipping point at which a TV series passes its peak or introduces plot twists which are inconsistent with what has preceded them. Once a show has jumped the shark, the viewer senses a noticeable decline in quality or feels the show has undergone too many changes to retain its original charm. The term derives from an episode of Happy Days in which Fonzie jumped over a shark while on water skis.

Most shows do this with a big wedding, or a baby (Lucy, Dick van Dyke, All in the Family), or they burn down the neighborhood (Weeds), move elsewhere and change the characters - actually they were the first to move the show's locale.

This concept ranks up there with Roger Ebert's film cliches:
  • Fruit Cart -if there's a fruit cart in a movie, its inevitable that some speeding vehicle will crash into it
  • The Infallible Tree - whatever tree a hero climbs in a movie, some bad guy will stop and stand right under it so the hero can jump on him (Rambo, Robin Hood) that I would add
  • Homicidal Hanky Panky - if two teenagers are about to attempt hanky-panky, some homicidal maniac is waiting to send them to the hell in which they belong! I think horror films are the modern day wrath of God a la the old testament. That's it, they're modern biblical judgment.

Now, the Honeymooners never jumped the shark, they stayed in the same drabby apartment and never bothered with kids. The one time Ralph found a bunch of money, he had to give it back, after buying his mother-in-law a fur coat - "I had it, I went with it!"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Are You a True Southerner?

Things Only a True Southerner Knows
1. Only a true southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption, and that you don’t “have” them, you pitch them.
2. Only a true southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnips, beans, etc, make up a “mess”.
3. Only a true southerner can point you in the direction of “yonder”.
4. Only a true southerner knows how long “directly” is – as in “I’m going to town, be back directly.”
5. Only a true southerner can distinguish between "fixin to" do something and actually doing it.
6. Only a true southerner knows that the term “booger” can be a (a) resident of the nose (b) a description, as in “that ole booger Billy Ray!", (c) a first name, or (d) something that jumps out at you in the dark and scares you into a conniption.

Things a Southerner Would Never Say

1. Aw, heck, I just couldn’t – she’s only sixteen.
2. I’ll take Shakespeare for $1000, Alex.
3. Duct tape won’t fix that.
4. Come to think of it, I think I’ll have a Heineken.
5. We don’t keep firearms in the house.
6. You can’t feed that to the dog.
7. No kids in the back of the pickup, it’s just not safe.
8. Did you mail that donation to Greenpeace?
9. Wrasslin’s fake.
10. Too many deer heads detract from the décor.
11. We don’t need another dog.
12. I’ll have grapefruit instead of biscuits and gravy.

[PS - I was raised in Macon, Ga , home of Little Richard, Otis Redding, and the Allman Brothers, and now live in Pine Mountain, Ga, home of SciFi author Michael Bishop, so I know these things!]

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Mensa Invitational

Here is the Washington Post's Mensa Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. The winners:

1. Cashtration. The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
2. Ignoranus. A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
3. Intaxication. Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until your realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation. Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. Bozone. The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
6. Foreploy. Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
7. Giraffiti. Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
8. Sarchasm. The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
9. Inoculatte. To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
10. Osteopornosis. A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
11. Karmageddon. It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
12. Decafalon. The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
13. Glibido. All talk and no action.
14. Dopeler Effect. The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
15. Arachnoleptic Fit. The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
16. Beelzebug. Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
17. Caterpallor. The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Remember the post about Webster trying to get phonetic in spelling, such as 'booty' for beauty?

He did get lots of 'ph' made into 'f' - phantasy became fantasy, etc..
He tried all this in his first dictionary and most like booty got rejected!
He wanted stuff spelled like it sounded to avoid all the confusion

Here's a great example of English messing with students!

take these sounds:
GH as in ROUGH is "F"
O as I sound in WOMEN = "I"
TI for 'sh' sound as in ACTION = "SH"

so GHOTI == FISH !! - from Gallagher's "The Accountant" as in 'there's no accounting for the english language!'

later .. 'Oh,say'

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Francis Bacon was Shakespeare

Francis Bacon was the true author of Shakespeare's works, so "Bacon was the Bard"

Criminal psychiatrist Richard M. Bucke, in his 1901 book Cosmic Consciousness, uses his psychological expertise and powers of deduction to make a very strong case for Francis Bacon (1561-1626, jurist and courtier, Parliamentary speaker) as the author of all of William Shakespeare’s works. When you couple his observations with internal clues and some “common sense” facts, it seems almost a forgone conclusion.

Bucke’s treatise was about levels of consciousness, particularly about what he saw as the next stage of man’s inner development: a leap from a species dominated by self consciousness to one gradually awakening a new level of cosmic consciousness. Beginning with Gautama, the Buddha, and continuing to the late 19th century and his friend Walt Whitman, the book documents what he calls “indisputable evidence” of cases of personal breakthroughs into what he termed a new level of consciousness just being awakened as a new faculty in the mind of man. Like any new skill or learned behavior, the new ability first exhibits itself in isolated cases years apart, then gradually becomes more and more prevalent, eventually becoming another inherited trait of the entire species, just as self awareness is now.

Bucke obviously includes Francis Bacon in his list of illuminated individuals, along with Jesus, Paul, Mohammed, John Yepes (St. John of the Cross), William Blake, Honoré Balzac, Walt Whitman and numerous others. He establishes several criteria, noting how psychiatrists can distinguish between the insane and those truly experiencing a change in consciousness, a state that is neither psychotic nor damaging, and in fact always causes positive changes in the individual as can be seen by the type of people included. Ironically, Bacon died from cold after performing an experiment: trying to stuff a chicken with snow, to create the world's first frozen dinner!

Here’s a summary of Bucke’s arguments for Francis Bacon as Shakespeare
1. The plays introduce over five hundred new words, most derived from Latin. Bacon wrote in Latin, and shares 98.5% of Shakespeare’s vocabulary – too much to be coincidence, and the “two” writers did not know each other.

2. There are over 100 common expressions and phrases found in both writings.

3. Each read the same books, each had the same favorite books.

4. They wrote on the same subjects and always from the same point of view, and they never express irreconcilable opinions.

5. For over thirty years, they lived together in a town of only 160,000 and supposedly never met, nor even knew the existence of each other.

6. Bacon left behind an abundance of evidence of his literary life such as letters and manuscripts; Shakespeare left none, no manuscripts, not even a letter.

7. The localities of the plays were all locations known or visited by Bacon.

8. There is a parallel between the plays and incidents in Bacon’s life.

9. Examinations of Shakespeare’s “Richard III” and “Henry the VIII” and Bacon’s prose history of Henry the VIII make it clear that all three are from the same author.

10. The philosophy and science of Bacon are constantly worked into the poetry of Shakespeare.

11. There’s a ridiculous but brilliant Latin anagram in “Love’s Labour Lost”, the word: Honorificabilitudinitatibus. Scholars have found this phrase in Latin from these letters: “Hi ludi, tuiti sibi, Fr. Bacono nati” which translates as “These plays entrusted to themselves proceeded from Fr. Bacon”. The form of the “word” is Latin, the anagram is in Latin. The intention is clear.
On the outer leaf of a manuscript of Bacon’s is the word: Honorificabilitudino. This is another Latin anagram: “Initio hi ludi Fr. Bacono”, which reads “In the beginning these plays from Fr. Bacon”. This “less perfect” anagram preceded the better one later placed in “Love’s Labour Lost”. Two different authors, each came up with these anagrams?

12. Bucke claims to have found a hidden cipher in nearly every play that claims the authorship of Bacon; he intended to publish them later in a volume solely devoted to Bacon. Unfortunately, death preceded this volume.

Well, this pretty much blows away my theory that the plays were written by the entire acting troupe that performed them. When I read that there are no manuscripts of the plays from the time they were performed, and that two actors wrote them down years later from memory, I thought I had developed a good theory. In fact, there are no manuscripts at all from Shakespeare, and of the seven known autographs of his, no TWO versions spell the name the same way! Now, how many people do you know that would spell their name differently every time they sign it? To me, that one fact alone implies that there was no actual person named William Shackspear, er Shakespeer, er Shakespeare. Whatever… Shake a Spear!