Friday, August 16, 2013

FF - 15 Obsolete English Words I Want to Use

I came across an article called 18 Obsolete Words, Which Never Should Have Gone Out of Style. I was not disappointed.  It triggered a word-quest across the interwebs that resulted in my finding these glorious websites:

- (About the books Forgotten EnglishThe Word Museum, Altered EnglishInformal English by Jeffrey Kacirk.  I definitely want to read The Word Museum!)

I devoured these websites with a combination of raw excitement and a pang of despair: I weep for English sometimes. I'm all for evolution of language, of course, but to hear things like "YOLO"? Really?

I've compiled a list of words I'm determined to use in my everyday language because they are nothing short of epic:

1) Wonder-wench: A sweetheart — “The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten” by Jeffrey Kacirk

2) Groak: To silently watch someone while they are eating, hoping to be invited to join them 

3) Roinish: Scabby, despicable.

4) Spermologer: A picker-up of trivia, of current news, a gossip monger, what we would today call a columnist — “The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten” by Jeffrey Kacirk

5) Pulverable: That which may be reduced to fine powder. From Latin pulvis, pulveris, powder. Pulverous, consisting of, or like, dust or powder. - Daniel Lyons's Dictionary of the English Language, 1897

6) Kittling: A kitten

7) Beef-witted: Having an inactive brain, thought to be from eating too much beef. — John Phin’s “Shakespeare Cyclopaedia and Glossary”, 1902
8) Queerplungers: Cheats who throw themselves into the water in order that they may be taken up by their accomplices, who carry them to one of the houses appointed by the Humane Society for the recovery of drowned persons, where they are rewarded by the society with a guinea each, and the supposed drowned person, pretending he was driven to that extremity by great necessity, is also frequently sent away with a contribution in his pocket. — “The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten” by Jeffrey Kacirk
9) Englishable: That which may be rendered into English — John Ogilvie’s “Comprehensive English Dictionary”, 1865
10) Resistentialism: The seemingly spiteful behaviour shown by inanimate objects 
11) Zafty: A person very easily imposed upon — Maj. B. Lowsley’s “A Glossary of Berkshire Words and Phrases”, 1888
12) Skybald: A good-for-nothing; a worthless person, animal, or thing.

13) Rememble: A false memory.

14) Flabberdegaz: Nonsensical talk. - Maurice Weseen's A Dictionary of American Slang, 1934

15) Monsterful: Wonderful and extraordinary. -Grose's 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

Which words do you like?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reflections and 20 Inspirational Quotes

On this day last year, I lost one of the most remarkable influences in my life:  my professor. He is the reason I fell in love with research and education. Prof. Satish Kumar not only set a positive academic example, he was the epitome of an exceptional human being as well.  I wrote a tribute to him last year, here.

This untimely death wasn't the only major event to happen in the past 12 months.  There were a number of other life-altering circumstances people close to me and I were forced to face. As a result, I feel I have learned much about how remarkable the universe and the human mind can be.  And I continue to learn everyday.

I've witnessed people fall into a black hole and rise up against all odds.  I've witnessed people generating strength within themselves to overcome obstacles that life throws at them. I've learned the power and beauty of little, positive things that add up to make a difference.

And so, today, I'd like to reflect on the things I'd like to keep in mind, in the form of my favourite quotes.

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas A. Edison

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." - Judy Garland

"Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve." –Napoleon Hill

“Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars - mere globs of gas atoms. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination - stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one - million - year - old light. A vast pattern - of which I am a part... What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?” -Richard Feynman
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." –Chinese Proverb
"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life." –John Lennon 
"Whoever loves much, performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well." –Vincent Van Gogh

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” -Ayn Rand
"Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground." -David Icke
Because Douglas Adams deserves his own list:
"Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space." 
"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes."

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
"I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be." 
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
As does Doctor Who:
"Hey. Do you mind if I tell you a story? One you might not have heard. All the elements in your body were forged many many millions of years ago in the heart of a faraway star that exploded and died. That explosion scattered those elements across the desolations of deep space. After so, so many millions of years, these elements came together to form new stars and new planets. And on and on it went. The elements came together and burst apart, forming shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. Until, eventually, they came together to make you. You are unique in the universe. There is only one [you]. And there will never be another. Getting rid of that existence isn't a sacrifice, it's a waste!"

"But this is one corner of one country on one continent on one planet that's a corner of a galaxy that's a corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and growing and never remaining the same for a single millisecond, and there is so much to see."

"The human race just keeps on going—keeps on changing. Life will out. "

"Look at these people, these human beings. Consider their potential! From the day they arrive on the planet, blinking, step into the sun, there is more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than— no, hold on. Sorry, that's The Lion King. But the point still stands."
"I see 'keep out' signs as suggestions more than actual orders. Like 'dry clean only'."