National Dictionary Day

National Dictionary Day is observed annually on October 16.

National Dictionary Day was created in honor of Noah Webster’s birthday (October 16, 1758) and was set aside as a day to emphasize the importance of learning and using dictionary skills and increasing one’s vocabulary.  Webster is considered the “Father of the American Dictionary”. 

Source: National Day Calendar

Words You Didn’t Know Had Opposites

A chance to learn some new words. I like the opposite of deja vu, jamais vu. When would you ever use it in conversation? But, it is interesting to know.

What’s the opposite of disgruntled? Chances are you’re thinking the answer should rightly be gruntled—but is that really a word you recognize? The problem here is that disgruntled, alongside the likes of uncouth, disheveled, distraught, inert, and intrepid, is an example of an unpaired word, namely one that looks like it should have an apparently straightforward opposite, but in practice really doesn’t.
Words like these tend to come about either when a prefixed or suffixed form of a word is adopted into the language while its root is not, or when the inflected or affixed form of a word survives, while its uninflected root form falls out of use. This was the case with disgruntled, which derives from an ancient Middle English word, gruntel, meaning “to grumble” or “complain,” which has long since fallen from use—although the gap left by disgruntled has led some dictionaries to list gruntled as a modern-day back-formation.

2. ANONYMOUS
Anonymous literally means “without a name.” Its opposite is onymous, which is typically used to refer to books, legal papers, artworks, musical compositions, and similar documents the authorship of which is known without doubt.
3. AUTOMATON
If an automaton is a machine capable of moving itself, then the opposite is called a heteromaton—a device that relies solely on external forces for movement.
4. CATASTROPHE
If a catastrophe is a sudden, unpredictable, and devastating event, then an equally sudden or unexpected event of sheer joy or good fortune is a eucatastrophe. This term was coined by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien in 1944, who originally used it to describe a sudden or fortuitous event in the plot of a story that turns around the protagonist’s chances or prospects, and brings about the resolution of the narrative.
5. DÉJÀ VU
Over the years, psychologists have identified a number of different phenomena similar to déjà vu (literally “already seen” in French). Among them is presque vu (“almost seen”), the tip-of-the-tongue feeling that you’re about to remember something you’ve forgotten; déjà vécu (“already experienced”), a particularly intense form of déjà vu that makes it almost impossible to discern the present from the past; and déjà visité (“already visited”), which describes a person’s surprising foreknowledge of a place they’ve never actually been to before—like unthinkingly knowing your way around a foreign town or city while on holiday. The opposite of déjà vu, however, is usually said to be jamais vu (“never seen”): so if déjà vu describes the eerie sensation that something new has actually taken place before, in the case of jamais vu a person believes that a situation that is actually very familiar and has happened before is entirely new.
7. EUPHEMISM
If a euphemism involves the use of a politer word or phrase in place of a more distasteful or objectionable one, a dysphemism is the deliberate use of an impolite or unpleasant term in place of a perfectly inoffensive one. Dysphemism is often used for rhetorical effect, in order to shock or shake up an audience, or simply for comic effect.
10. POSTPONE
To bring a date forward in time rather than postponing it is to prepone it.

See the full list at the source: 11 Words and Phrases You Didn’t Know Had Opposites | Mental Floss

How do you Name a Woman?

Does it bother you to hear an adult man call his wife “Mother”, “MaMa” or other words similar? How about people who call themselves their pet’s “Mother”, “Daddy”, etc.?

Names are our identity/ identification. Names are how other people view us. I do think it is a bit odd when people refer to another person by their role – especially when it isn’t the role they have for the person who spoke. (Or that whole being your dog’s Mother thing, that just annoys me, personally).

My Dad used to refer to our Mom as “your Mother”. I haven’t thought of it for years. But, someone else I happened to mention it to found it very odd, they didn’t like it.

Other people don’t like hearing a husband refer to his wife as “Mother”. Does it help to think it is the short form for the Mother of his children? I’m sure that’s how it is intended but it does always sound as if he is calling his wife his Mother. What does he call his real Mother? Maybe “Grandma”?

Today in the Arab world, there is a custom still in place to not speak a woman’s name in public after she becomes a mother. In her 2011 book Gender, Sexuality, and Meaning: Linguistic Practice and Politics, linguistics professor Sally McConnell-Ginet wrote about how in some historical periods in China, women were only referred to by “relational forms,” names like “oldest sister” or “Lee’s wife,” while men were more often referred to by their individual names. These might sound odd to our modern ear, but chances are most of us have witnessed something similar in our lifetime.

Source: The Rise of ‘Mama’ : Longreads Blog

I found this, part of a long post about the use of the word “Mama”. However, the idea that a Mother loses her name was more interesting to me. When a woman marries she (still usually) changes her last name. She loses her family identity – or exchanges it for a new family identity. Then she has children and loses even her own personal identity as an individual. From then on she becomes a role, not an individual. Isn’t that like a nun too? They are referred to as “Mother Someone”, “Sister Someone”.

Without getting feminist about it, I wonder why or how our culture evolved to take away a woman’s name? It’s really interesting to think about. Not so much about laws, rights, fairness, equality, etc. But, just the fact of it.

There’s a Word for That

Haughty and fastidious.

I read a post about feet. I didn’t read it for the information, but the attitude of the writer. There seems to be a common attitude which (to me) is overly fussy, disapproving and expecting approval. I wanted to find a word for it. I still haven’t found just one exact word but I’ve come close. (Peevish, fussy, censoring, and others).

I found a reverse lookup for words. A handy tool for word lovers, or Scrabble players.

OneLook Reverse Dictionary and Thesaurus

A great site to have bookmarked for those days you know there’s a word for that… if you could just think of it.

Hey Guys We All Know… These are Offensive Phrases

We all know that…

That phrase really bothers me. I don’t like the cajoling, persuasive feeling of those words. I don’t like the assumption that there is a “we” and that I have anything in common with whoever is speaking or writing those words.

Yet this phrase comes up so often. Why? It’s so phony. So irritating and so slimy! I change my mind about whatever “we” are all supposed to know or think or feel as soon as I see or hear that.  I have a mind of my own, thank you! I don’t have a love of all popular culture, the entertainment industry and I don’t own a mobile phone. I’m an independent, free thinker as often as I choose to be.

So, whatever you think “we all know”… I’m just offended and contrary enough to unknow it on purpose!

The other phrase I just can’t stand is anything referring to people as “guys”.

Hey you guys…

Obviously you are only talking to the men because I’m not a guy. I never have been and don’t intend to change that.

Why, when the media is so heavily pushing transgender issues are we also all being called “guys”? Why ask people which pronoun they prefer when you call them all guys and think it’s ok?

Both of these phrases offend me. I hear (or see) them almost daily in advertising, online media and casual conversation.

In short, keep your little marketing hands and small marketing mind to yourself. People are don’t come out of a box each morning – we are unique individuals and we are not all men.

Flower Frogs?

Some things just make you wonder how they came up with that name. Frogs used to pose flower arrangements… did someone use an actual frog at one time? Before someone else thought to create one from wire, glass or something other than the body of an actual frog? I know, it’s icky. But someone (other than myself) has to think of these things. Source: Vintage Treasure: Flower Frogs | Inherited Values

Note: This image comes from the original post at Flea Market Gardening (Thanks to my Mom for sending the link).

Grammarly has a Typo

Maybe the people at Grammarly were trying to stick to the proper rules but, the correct spelling for WordPress is ‘WordPress’. There’s just a small gap between proper and correct in this case. Do you choose to stick to the proper rules for words or do you use the correct spelling of a name? Your choice may depend on who your readers are and their standards and expectations for what is proper and correct. spelling countsSource: Grammarly