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Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:36 pm
by Philellinas
Philellinas wrote:Our flagging Greek needs a boost: boustrophedon. Literally it means "ox turn" but is defined as ploughwise as in writing from right to left and left to right on alternate lines. Apparently some of the ancients were a dab hand at writing "backwards" as well as forwards. Ambidextrous writing? Certainly dextrous.

A friend of mine recently picked up an Inspector Morse novel by Colin Dexter entitled "Service of all the dead" in which the following sentence occurs:-
"She then walked boustrophedon along the pews on either side of the main aisle, replacing on their hooks whatever loose hassocks had been left on the floor, flicking the pew-ledges with a yellow duster, and at the same time collecting a few stray hymn-books and prayer-books".
Perhaps I should have said Dexterous writing. This may be an example of a hapax legomenon.

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:48 pm
by Hugh Weldon
It may be the only known example of the use of that word in an English novel. Unless somebody with an OED to hand can advise otherwise.

The sort of pretentiousness in diction that would make me want to defenestrate said book immediately. We can only blame Oxford I suppose.

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:37 pm
by Adam Blake
Accustomed as I am to floccinaucinihilipilification, the correct response to this is surely to shrug and ignore.

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:26 pm
by Chris P
Philellinas wrote:Our flagging Greek needs a boost: boustrophedon. Literally it means "ox turn" but is defined as ploughwise as in writing from right to left and left to right on alternate lines. Apparently some of the ancients were a dab hand at writing "backwards" as well as forwards. Ambidextrous writing? Certainly dextrous.


thanks to this post I was able to read the following sentence today "a Burmese boustrophedon manuscript explaining in Pali the initiation rites of a Buddhist priest", and understand what it meant (although come to think of it I need to check I fully get the Pali language reference, which is also making me think of Hendrix's 'Pali Gap' instrumental, I wonder what he meant by the title)

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:13 pm
by Chris P
It seems that 'Pali Gap' may have been named posthumously, and referred to the Hawaiian word Pali meaning cliff, so 'Pali Gap' is a valley. Jimi's instrumental may have been lifted from his Hawaiian 'Rainbow Bridge' concert

the gap itself?:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nu%E2%80%98uanu_Pali

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:42 am
by David Flower
Bookkeeper

I'm wondering if there's another word that has 3 consecutive double letters

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:31 am
by DavidM
There's a part of Sydney called Woolloomooloo, but I guess that being a name it doesn't really count;

Image

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:08 am
by will vine
And this probably doesn't count either, as it's a phrase, but, in the same vein - Incan iconography.

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:58 pm
by David Flower
i was trying to think of another word in english really.

Will, I don't think you've quite got the hang of this one !

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:09 pm
by gary booth
And an assistant to a bookkeeper is a 'subbookkeeper' (I'm reliably informed by my wife, who's a bookkeeper) which has 4 consecutive double letters. I thought it would be two words or hyphenated but evidently it's one?

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:26 pm
by Janet M
I wish I could actually say anything - but am on silent due to a recurring and particularly nasty bout of laryngitis. Hmmm, I've had some comments about being the 'perfect' wife!

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 1:48 pm
by NormanD
Omnishambles. This word is used virtually daily now by political commentators, largely to describe the general performance of the Con-Dem regime, and Camoron's in particular. The origin is down to "The Thick Of It", the tv comedy, and came from the inventively foul mouth of character Malcolm Tucker, the spinmeister from hell, who added: "You're like that coffee machine! From bean to cup, you fuck up!"

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:31 am
by Chris P
Coruscating eg coruscating wit. I'd fallen into the trap, apparently along with many others, of thinking this was aggressive and sharp (the word maybe sounding that way, and also suggesting 'corrosive'). Turns out it means sparkling, or glittering.

edit (this later came to mind):
Image

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:36 am
by DavidM
Parse.

As in; "Do not automatically parse URLs."

Not; "Parse the salt."

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:54 am
by Ted
While we are on the subject of Computer Science words - grok.

You can grok it from its context.