Words Worth: What-ology?

Most JBRish readers probably know that the suffix “ology” denotes the study of something. Well, here is a challenge…if you accept it.

BuzzFeed has an “Ology” quiz. They will present you with thirteen words ending in “ology” and you need to guess the correct area of study. I anticipated doing pretty well, but I missed three of them. I guess I have more studying to do. Is there an ology, ology?

For example, here is one of the items I did not answer correctly:

 

Horse Picture courtesy of Jeffrey B. Ross

WHICH OLOGY IS THE STUDY OF HORSES?

A – Hippology
B – Hoppology

Now don’t go looking this up IF you want to accept the challenge. If you think you are an “ology” expert, you can test your knowledge here:

Do You Know What All These “-Ology” Words Actually Mean?

 
See previous Words Worth entries HERE

Words Worth – PUN-ishment 20160816

pun; (noun)

“a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings.”**

**https://www.google.com/#q=define+pun

At JBRIsh, which really is not gibberish, we enjoy a good pun as much as anyone and perhaps a bit more. Our readers, friends and others send them to us all the time. I thought it was about time that we shared those puns which we find most amusing. Of course your mileage may vary, but we do hope at least some of them bring a smile to your face. A good pun is a gem, but one that is not so good is just PUN-ishment!

 

  • Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, ‘I’ve lost my electron.’ The other says, ‘Are you sure?’ The first replies, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’

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  • A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

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  • I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

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  • Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

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  • The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

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Do you have a favorite pun or a real groaner? If so, send it along in the comment section and perhaps it will make our most appreciated list!

 

JBRish.com originally published this post

See previous Words Worth entries HERE

Words Worth – PUN-ishment 20160514

pun; (noun)

“a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings.”**

**https://www.google.com/#q=define+pun

At JBRIsh, which really is not gibberish, we enjoy a good pun as much as anyone and perhaps a bit more. Our readers, friends and others send them to us all the time. I thought it was about time that we shared those puns which we find most amusing. Of course your mileage may vary, but we do hope at least some of them bring a smile to your face. A good pun is a gem, but one that is not so good is just PUN-ishment!

 

  • No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
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  • Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
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  • 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.’
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  • A backward poet writes inverse.
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  • There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.
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Do you have a favorite pun or a real groaner? If so, send it along in the comment section and perhaps it will make our most appreciated list!

 

JBRish.com originally published this post

See previous Words Worth entries HERE

Words Worth – English Can be Weird!

I have often heard it said that English is one of the most difficult languages to learn because the grammar rules have so many exceptions. As our Words Worth selection below also reveals, English provides a challenge to those learning how to spell correctly!

Yes, English can be weird. It can be understood through tough, thorough thought though.
“Yes, English can be weird. It can be understood through tough, thorough thought though.”

Do you have any short English examples we can include? Leave them in the comments below!

Via

 

JBRish.com originally published this post

See previous Words Worth entries HERE

Words Worth – Confusing Word Meanings

I am not a member of the grammar police and I am not particularly fond of their worker’s union (wink, wink). All kidding aside, I do like to think I know a fair amount about grammar and word usage, but I must confess, I have some weak areas. If you would like to try your skill at a grammar and word usage test, check out the link below. Fair warning, however, some of the word pairs have fairly nuanced meanings which are often overlooked in common usage.

Ahem! I did manage to earn a “Grammar Pro” ranking.

Here are a few from the quiz to give you a hint. You are on your honor not to look these up for the correct answer beforehand; you’re being watched!

Which of the following words would fit in the blank space?

“The weather just gets worse the ______________ west you go.”

A – farther B – further

Do you know the difference between infer and imply?

What is the difference between the abbreviations e.g. and i.e. is a bit more tricky.

Try your luck at the linked quiz below:

How Well Do You Know These Commonly Misused Words?

How well did you do?

 

JBRish.com originally published this post

See previous Words Worth entries HERE

The Job of Editing as a Grammar Referee

What publication are you reading if you see the following in print?

  • naïve
  • teen-ager
  • coöperate

Well, if you must know, it is The New Yorker

Mary Norris is the copy editor for The New Yorker and she has some rather interesting tidbits to share about editing, language, readers and writers.

Copy Editor Mary Norris

As an example, Ms. Norris pointed to the following sentence that appeared in the magazine:

“Last Tuesday, Sarah Palin, the pre-Trump embodiment of populist no-nothingism in the Republican Party, endorsed Trump.”

She was apparently raked over the coals, so-to-speak, for not catching the error [Did you?].

Mary Norris also quoted E.B. White’s comment about commas in The New Yorker: “They fall with the precision of knives outlining a body.”

If you enjoy exploring the English language in this way and learning about the process of editing, I urge you to watch this engaging presentation by Mary Morris via here TED talk.

You can watch the presentation HERE.

Mary Norris is author of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen

 


While JBRish is pleased to write about Mary Norris and her TED talk, the original content is derived from the linked resources above.

See previous Words Worth entries HERE

Grammar Challenge – 20160304

OK, I know I am not a perfect writer and I am far from perfect as a grammarian. I thought this fast, easy, five-question grammar quiz was quite a challenge and it made me grateful for dictionaries (online or otherwise). One question, for example, is which of the spellings above is correct? To find out, visit the link below to test your knowledge and understanding of grammar. [ Isn’t is a strange feeling when you see something written that you have never read before; only heard? ]

The Quickest Grammar And Spelling Quiz You’ll Ever Take

 

See previous Words Worth entries HERE

Etymology of the Word Hearse…and Others

A source of continual interest, at least to me, is how words and phrases have derived their meanings; etymology . I recently became aware of a website that produces interesting videos explaining how selected words have evolved from their origins to their current meanings.

The website is called Mysteries of Vernacular. In the video below, for example, the metamorphosis of the word hearse is examined. How did a word that referred to a wolf (Hirpus) become the basis for a word that refers to a vehicle that carries corpses? Watch the video to find out.

Mysteries of Vernacular: Hearse from Myriapod Productions on Vimeo.

If you enjoy learning about the derivation of words and why they have their current meanings, click on the link below and then click on a lettered book on the bookshelf for additional videos.

Mysteries of Vernacular

The Meaning of Life in a Paragraph and a Book

I recently read the brainpickings article about the book “When Breath Becomes Air: A Young Neurosurgeon Examines the Meaning of Life as He Faces His Death”

The first paragraph of the article, beneath the quote from the book, is one of the most targeted and poignant statements on the subject of the human condition I have read in a long, long time. It encapsulates the essence of the “meaning of life” for me. It may be that I am more sensitive as I near my seventh decade, but it surely hit home! The section from the review and to which I refer is:

“All life is lived in the shadow of its own finitude, of which we are always aware — an awareness we systematically blunt through the daily distraction of living. But when this FINITUDE is made acutely imminent, one suddenly collides with awareness so acute that it leaves no choice but to Fill the shadow with as much light as a human being can generate — the sort of inner illumination we call meaning: the meaning of life.” [emphasis is mine]

The book has been very well received, but I have ordered it with mixed emotions. I am anticipating powerful insights, inspiration and guidance with the knowledge that I will be emotionally involved and perhaps burdened by the experience.

Visit the website to read the entire review of the book and if you order the book via that site, they receive a small commission.

You can read more about the book, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, at goodreads