Category Archives: Language

New words, for all of you:

Orstraylian
> The following are results from an OZ-words Competition
> where entrants were asked to take an Australian word,
> alter it by one letter only, and supply a witty definition.
>Clearly, you need to be an Aussie to understand, but I hope you will have a go, even without an    >Aussie background. Good luck! Am including a loose translation of colloquial words so you may all enjoy the humour.
>
> Billabonk: to make passionate love beside a waterhole

(Billabong: a water hole. Bonk: to have sex).
>
> Bludgie: a partner who doesn’t work, but is kept as a pet

(Budgie: a pet bird. Bludge: a lazy person).
>
> Dodgeridoo: a fake indigenous artefact

(Didgeridoo: an Aboriginal wind instrument. Dodgy: tricky).
>
> Fair drinkum: good-quality Aussie wine

(Dinkum: true, honest).
>
> Flatypus: a cat that has been run over by a vehicle

(Platypus: Australian, amphibious, egg-laying monotreme).
>
> Mateshit: all your flat mate’s belongings, lying strewn around the floor

(mate: friend. Shit: has many meanings, in this case, I think it speaks for itself).
>
> Yabble: the unintelligible language of Australian freshwater crustaceans

(Yabbie: Australian freshwater crustacean. Gabble: unintelligible language).
>
> Bushwanker: a pretentious drongo, who reckons he’s above average when it comes to handling himself in the scrub

(Bushwalker: someone who walks in the bush. Wanker: to maintain an illusion, deceive oneself or masturbate).
>
> Crackie-daks: ‘hipster’ tracksuit pants.

(Crack: backside fissure. Daks: tracksuit pants).ATT000098

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Going, going, gone …

Helen Carey books has written about words being omitted from the dictionary, that I think will interest a lot of you. Re-blogged in case you missed it. Thanks Helen.otter

helencareybooks

otterRegular followers of my blog will know that I am concerned about words fading out of the English language. So imagine my dismay when I read recently that the Oxford University Press has expunged several words from the Oxford Junior Dictionary. And no, the deleted words are not out of use or particularly outdated, they are just apparently not ‘relevant to a modern day childhood’. The missing words include acorn, adder, bluebell, dandelion, kingfisher, otter and even conker. And the words taking their place in the new edition include broadband, blog, bullet point and, wait for it, celebrity!

It worries me that so many of the excluded words refer to our countryside, our fauna and flora. Do we really want to educate the next generation to give priority to cut-and-paste, voicemail and chatroom, over pasture, cowslip and cygnet?

Of course it is not just the younger…

View original post 386 more words

The Color Thesaurus: Re-blogged

The Color Thesaurus. Having read this post, it reminded me of my mother-in-law, Margaret, who thought she knew everything about colour. In fact she was a very talented lady, but her knowledge was natural instinct. She liked to experiment and in the 1950s, she thought she’d like a feature wall of dark grey. Her patient husband, Eric, tried to advise her that it would be rather dark, but she insisted he paint the wall.

In the morning they came down stairs to what Eric, a sea Captain, said, ‘We’ve got the bloody HMAS Melbourne drawn up alongside!’ From then on it was called Battle Ship Grey. Margaret relented and the wall was repainted a more moderate colour.

Eric, who was a tease, sent Margaret to get the colour for the front door, and told her it was  Wagon Wheel Blue. She had the men in the paint shop diving for cover, as they knew what a pedantic woman she was. She asked for Wagon Wheel Blue, and they said there was no such colour. ‘Oh yes there is, my husband told me!’ Eventually it was discovered that the colour she wanted was Wagon Blue, with a few alterations. She came home furious with Eric, but happy to have the deep blue that she so admired. It did look magnificent on their stable door.

Nicholas C. Rossis:154a3005593869205e9ed5fff2f11849

An awesome resource for all authors!
Originally posted on Ingrid’s Notes:e62157e3a75409d6a20b06633d9042cb

I love to collect words. Making word lists can help to find the voice of my story, dig into the emotion of a scene, or create variety.

One of my on-going word collections is of colors. I love to stop in the paint section of a hardware store and find new names for red or white or yellow. Having a variety of color names at my fingertips helps me to create specificity in my writing. I can paint a more evocative image in my reader’s mind if I describe a character’s hair as the color of rust or carrot-squash, rather than red.

So for fun, I created this color thesaurus for your reference. Of course, there are plenty more color names in the world, so, this is just to get you started.

Fill your stories with a rainbow of images!

 

whitetan_revisedyelloworange_revisedredpink_revisedpurple_revisedbluegreen-1brown-1greyblack

Jonathan Holmes’ grammatical hate-list

Jonathan Holmes is a well known journalist in Australia. I love reading his articles and so want to share with you his thoughts about grammar and the changes that we are seeing to our language. There have been several end of year summaries, but Jonathan makes some good points. More can be found in the Age newspaper article mentioned below:

Like a lot of people who write for a living, I’m a bit of a pedant. And like a lot of pedants, I have some pet hates. Here’s my current list of the grammatical and linguistic solecisms that drive me (irrationally, I admit) to distraction.

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/-12f3do.html

Phenomenal two letter word:

I’m sure you will enjoy this. I don’t know another word in the English language that can be a noun, verb, adj, adv or prep.

This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word and that word is UP.’ It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election (if there is a tie, it is a toss UP) and why is it UP to the secretary to write UPa report? We call UP our friends, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.
At other times, this little word has a special
meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is blocked UP.

We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with (UP to) a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, the earth soaks UP the rain. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP. One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap UP now . . . My time is UP!

Oh . . . One more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?

U
P!
Did that one crack you UP?

Don’t screw UP.. Send this on to everyone you look UP in your address book . . . Or not . . . it’s UP to you.
Now I’ll shut UP!

 

Regional language:

Having discussed Australian regional differences in language before, I thought this article from The Guardian, might interest some of you, to show just a few variations. I’ve heard of American regional differences, does it happen in other countries too? I’m sure you’ll all have experienced this somewhere. My first awareness of differences was cantaloupe that we eat in Tasmania is called rockmelon in many other States.

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/oct/20/-sp-maps-of-australian-language-swimmers-v-cozzies-scallops-v-potato-cakes?CMP=twt_gu

Heteronyms and Homographs for a bit of fun:

Homographs are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning. A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym.

You think English is easy??
I think a retired English teacher was bored… THIS IS GREAT!
Read all the way to the end…
This took a lot of work to put together!

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are animal organs. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS – Why doesn’t ‘Buick’ rhyme with ‘quick’?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this.

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is ‘UP.’
It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?
At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?
Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends.
And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.
We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.
At other times the little word has real special meaning.
People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.
To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.
A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.
We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.
We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!
To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.
In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can have UP to about thirty definitions.
If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.
It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.
When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.
When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.
When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.
When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry UP.
One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so . . . it is time to for me to shut UP!