Astragal

Dec. 12th, 2011 12:46 pm
slemslempike: (games: scrabble name)
I used to write down new-to-me words when I encountered them in books to look up later, and sometimes posted lists of what I had learned. I've sort of fallen out of the habit, but recently I learned the words "architrave" - the horiztonal top of the frame around a door or window - and "astragal", which is the bit on a pair of doors that overlaps one to the other, so they have to be closed in a specific order. I really like these words, but I don't think I'll get to use them often, which is why I'm posting. We have astragals at work, actually, but there's never really any need to talk about them. I draw the line at trapping my fingers so that if asked what happened I can say it happened in an astragal. Anyone learned any words recently?

Octopidal

Mar. 13th, 2010 11:24 pm
slemslempike: (games: scrabble)
Does anyone know what "octopidal" means, or what it might be an error for? I have encountered it in Gyles Brandreth's biography of John Gielgud, on an announcement about Gielgud's performance on HMS Nelson, saying "Loudspeakers are being rigged so that any audience in the octopidal should be able to hear".

Neither google nor the OED are any help. I do not mean octopedal.
slemslempike: (m&c: reading)
I don't seem to have done this for about two years. I think I stopped having pen and paper near me when I read as a matter of course, I can assure you that it's not that I knew all the words that I read.

aetiology - the study of causation (of disease)
hieratic - priestly/cursive form of ancient Egyptian writing/highly restrained and formal (I think the last one was my context)
grobian - crude, sloppy person, fron the fictional patron saint of vulgar and coarse people, Saint Grobian, thought up by the satirist Sebastian Brant
cachexy/cachexia - loss of vitality and strength
cholegogue - agent that promotes the discharge of bile, "purging it downward"
fulvous - brownish yellow
tabes - wasting/atrophy of the body during disease
gleet - thin discharge, often from gonorrhea
strake - a plank in the hull of a boat
levinflash - lightning
peculation - embezzlement
spoom - frothy sorbet
toping - excessive drinking
costive - constipated
concupiscence - sexual desire
anent - regarding/concerning

And other things I looked up:
Podilarius and Machaon - legendary healers
Paracelsus - botanist in the 1500s who named zinc
Bartholomew Fair - summer fair in London from 1133-1855, suppressed for encouraging debauchery

And penguin apparently tastes like a gamey fish.

Top 500

Jul. 27th, 2009 07:04 pm
slemslempike: (games: scrabble name)
I didn't get any work whatsoever done today. (I realised this was going to happen about two hours into the day and wrote it off.) But I am now ranked 497th on Prolific on Facebook.

Links.

Jun. 22nd, 2009 02:30 pm
slemslempike: (girlsown: seven sisters)
I had a look at wordnik, which I like. It suggested that I could expect to see "fun" a few times a month. HOW I WISH THAT WERE TRUE. (Bugger has a not unexpected concentration between 1920 and 1950.)

Also, [livejournal.com profile] antisoppist linked to Greyladies, and I want LOTS. I have actually got one of the Susan Scarlett (Noel Streatfeild) books, and the Josephine Elder, but at the time that I bought them I couldn't find a website, and now I am pleased. I should probably wait until my Persephone order comes through. But I don't want to.
slemslempike: (Default)
I really enjoyed this quiz about the most common words in the English Language. I found myself running through quotes I knew, the opening to Pride and Prejudice, some hymns, a bit of Shakespeare. I got 70 out of 100. It didn't have my top-used word according to lj archive, which is "actually". I really enjoy the whole site, especially the geography quizzes, though I am not very good at them. I always forget Wyoming, Timor-Leste, and I can't spell Kyrgystan.

A plumber came to the house today and fixed my radiator. It's warm in my room! We called a plumber because last night, on the suggestion of a friend, we took the thermostat control off the radiator, and got the pin moving again. This did not have the desired effect, so (on the suggestion of my dad) I loosened what I thought was the valve on the other end of the radiator. This came off. There was only a tiny amount of leak, because the thermostat control was still broken, but it was a bit alarming to wonder what if my books would be in Jen's room in the morning. More for her than me, I imagine. I got very grumpy about having to call plumbers, and this wasn't helped when the first one I tried insisted that it wouldn't be the thermostat, and he would have to power thingy the entire system for at least £400. Luckily the next one I tried seemed much more laidback, and arrived quite quickly with the spare parts, and then made perfectly reasonably small-talk (unlike the builder, who has so far jovially threatened violence and made sexually suggestive remarks), fixed things quickly and drained some of it.

It makes me quite cross that Scramble on Facebook organises your "top friends" by total number of points scored and not, say, word IQ, or average score, or percentage won, all of which would be much fairer and interesting and, coincidentally, put me at the top more often. I only have about five people to play with! I can't get the huge scores going!

LOOB

Sep. 3rd, 2008 04:45 pm
slemslempike: (games: scrabble name)
AAM - As a matter of fact (CLEARLY it's not)
BYKT - But you knew that
CID - Consider it done
CMI - Call me
F2T - Free to talk
HAND - Have a nice day
IAE - In any event
IYSS - If you say so
NRN - No reply necessary
PUKS - Pick up kids from school (I really think that this should be spelt out - the consequences of misunderstanding the acronym are not good).

I much prefer all the guesses in the last entry though, especially the idea of updated Abbey Girls.

[Poll #1253092]

I feel old.

Sep. 2nd, 2008 03:30 pm
slemslempike: (games: scrabble)
My feelings about Wordscraper depend entirely on whether it is me or my opponent who scores 500+ points on the first go.


I really like buying a new diary for the academic year. Partly I like transferring all the scrappy notes from the end of the previous diary into their rightful dates, but also I like seeing what useful numbers and data they've provided for me at the front. This diary has made me slightly cross because I didn't realise until afterwards that it doesn't have a tube map, which is one of the few things I actually use.

I do have:

  • Religious festivals.

  • Notable dates.

  • Numbers for LEAs etc.

  • Travel information (including HOVERCRAFT, which still sound brilliantly exciting no matter how mundane the actualiy).

  • National information, which has not only the public holidays and time difference for countries, but population and air miles from London. Yet not telephone prefix, which might be more useful.

  • Conversion tables, which always seem a good inclusion, but I have never ever used.

  • Sunrise and sunset times for London. I don't live in London, and I can't remember the last time I saw sunrise from either direction.



But the best thing of all is the list of Text Abbreviations. This is obviously an indispensable resource for the educators of our nation's youth trying desperately to get down wit da kidz.

It starts with the information that "1" is used in place of "One", and continues with things that aren't really specifically text abbreviations such as FAQ, AKA, ASAP, and one which I think is annoyin - WUCIWUG for WYSIWYG. And anyone who hasn't cottoned on that "x" is a kiss has probably got intimacy issues.

Then it has abbreviations that I have never seen used and frankly suspect them of having made up. Are these instantly understandable to you? Sorry, I mean RDSIU2U?

AAM
BYKT
CID
CMI
F2T
HAND
IAE
IYSS
NRN
PUKS
slemslempike: (games: scrabble)
[Poll #1084483]

I think the main thing that would make teaching immeasurably better is if the students didn't. to a woman, have much better skin than me. I demand a return to spotty eighteen year olds!

When I was younger and watching Fist of Fun on TV, I thought Stewart Lee was the most beautiful man who ever lived. Then a few years later, watching This Morning With Richard Not Judy, I still liked him (obviously) but decided that it must have been a childish infatuation and he was perfectly normal looking. In the last few weeks I watched the FoF live video, and I wasn't wrong, I wasn't. He was heavenly.

More words

May. 14th, 2007 05:30 pm
slemslempike: (games: scrabble)
I spent the afternoon in the reading room at the library trying to absorb Butler's argument in Bodies that Matter. While I in no way back down from my stance that people who write in library books, even in pencil, should be forcibly tattooed with THOUGHTLESS IDIOT, these bits did amuse me:

I don't think the darling is sincere )

And what better framing device for my own list of words I have looked up recently. There are rather fewer than before because I have been reading less of anything, and nothing of Will Self.

Brumaire - Second month of the French revolutionary calendar - the month of mist (October/November)
internecine - mutually destructive conflict
cynosure - a centre of attraction
cicisbeo - admirer of a married woman / knot of ribbon on a fan
labile - unstable, easily changing
paramnesias - false memory
antebellum - period preceding American Civil War
inchoate - not yet completed
aphasia - inability to use or understand language
Keratin - primary protein of hair, skin, nails
Chlamys - short woollen cloak
tabouret - low upholstered stool
colonnade - row of columns
quinquet lamp - where oil resevoir is higher than the flame (apparently same as Argand lamp?)
monism - doctrine that all things are part of the same reality
mimetic - reflective of reality

And other things I've learnt from books:
Sadza is a dish of grain meal, mbodza is underdone/inedible food.
After reading Berlant, who talked about "the cliche that queers are light in the loafers", I am introduced to a new term, which is apparently meant to be about mincing? Anyway. That was a new thing I learned.

With regard to the last post, as you may have worked out from other people's answers, the offical flower of the United Staes is... the rose. Which, apart from being blatant copying (it's totally ours! We had a war of them and everything!), is not a flower I associate with America in the slightest.

I have been trying to learn things about history as well. I made a chart with British monarchs, prime ministers, US presidents, French kings/presidents and Russian Emperors/leaders. 1710-1949. I'm never going to remember any of them, but it did lead to a pleasant Sunday colouring things in. There is not nearly enough colouring in in my life at the moment.

Henry Pelham was succeeded as Prime Minister in 1754 by his brother, the Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. FACT.
slemslempike: (games: scrabble)
I looked up the words from the book, and I thought that I would post them here so that a) I might have a better chance of remembering and b) people can judge me for not knowing them and c) other people can say that they too were previously unknowing. A few I roughly knew from context but wanted to know properly (uxorious, synecdoche) but most were completely baffling.

irenic - conducive to peace
uxorious - overly submissive to a wife
gravamen - grievance, basis of a legal action
strabismus - eye misalignment
bibulous - given up to the consumption of alcohol
adipose - pertaining to fat
adumbrate - give a sketchy outline of, to indistinctly foreshadow
lineaments - facial features
sidereal - relating to stars
sempiternal - dateless, no known beginning
meniscus - curved surface of liquid in a narrow diameter tube
noumenal - unknowable
penumbra - the area of a shadow in partial vision, the lighter part of an eclipse's shadow
chiaroscuro - use of light and dark in a painting
apophthegms - short pithy instructive saying
farouche - fierce, wild
synecdoche - referring to a concept by part of it
apian - relating to bees
monad - one, a unit
afflatus - creative inspiration
Procrustes - Greek guy with an adjustable bed
Ziggurat - step pyramid from Ancient Mesapotamia

I like sempiternal a lot, and noumenal. I am probably not going to remember any of them sufficiently to use them myself, but perhaps if I meet them again in writing it won't take me out of it.

Wednesday. What happens on Wednesdays?
slemslempike: (games: scrabble)
The letter D

Dictionaries
I just really like them, though I don't have a particularly impressive vocabulary, and I never really remember cool words I find (although, I do if I read them somewhere else, just not outside of books). I also really like the appendices in dictionaries. In my A level French/English dictionary they had neat little pages about French culture.

Dimsie
Mostly here to represent school stories in general. But I think these might have been among the first I read - after Malory Towers. In my primary school in Qatar they had a lot of the Goodchild reprints, which I took out repeatedly, and then moved on to the Drina and Penny books and the school Antonia Forests. I like Dimsie. Mostly I like her around other people, and I think that the Springdale books might be a bit better, but I have a large soft spot for her (along with everyone else in the known universe).

Dustwrappers
They can be really pretty. It's also a value thing, so that when I was cataloguing books for work the presence of a wrapper increased the price fairly significantly. But mostly, I think my shelves look nicer when the books on them have wrappers that decorate the spines. I don't have any blue-spine Chalets because of that. Of course, sometimes the wrappers can be hideous or just plain inappropriate, but even that's interesting, to think about whether the artist knows the book and if that's why they made the choices, or if not, what on earth that can have been given as a brief that created such an inapt picture.

Dye
Not so much at the moment, I have about two or three inches of roots. But my natural hair colour is brownish and the dye has faded to a reddish brown, so I don't think it looks too awful. I like dying my hair. I don't wear make-up (except very occasionally, preferably when someone else does it), so it's my one thing of changing my appearance really. I've been dying my hair since I was fourteen, starting with those little wella mousse things in mahogany. Then I had various shades of red and purple throughout school, and blue in one summer holiday. The blue wasn't terribly successful, and I didn't wash it out properly because then it wouldn't have shown up at all, and so it just bled steadily onto my neck and all my clothes throughout my holiday near Machyllenth. COOL AS FUCK. Mmm. After that they brought out those blue-black and purple-black colours, so I had those a lot through sixth form and first year uni. When I was doing my year abroad I dyed half my hair black and the other half bleached to be Cruella De Vil at halloween. Then I dyed over the bleach with turquoise, which faded to green, and I had absolutely kick-ass hair that year. I perhaps clung onto it a bit longer than the regrowth really allowed. Then back to the normal colours again until my MA year, where I wanted quite desperately to have rainbow hair. I even got as far as buying the individual dyes. Then I roped in a friend to bleach my hair underneath. It was not a success. I had about two inches of very white hair, then a few of bright orange, fading to very dark brown at the ends. She was more tearful than I was. It was fixed by an emergency visit to Toni and Guy, who patched it up nicely, but didn't seem to get that I hadn't actually tried for the tie-dye effect and kept asking me why I'd done it in tones of sorrow. So that wasn't really a great moment in the life of my hair. Mmm. I'd still like to have it, but if I need to get a job then it won't be the greatest, and the bleach would still be a huge hassle.

DVDs
I like buying these. And I love that they are bringing out old things on DVD all the time, and if they would just do ,i>Grace Unver Fire that might almost content me. I like it when they do imaginative things with extras and the casing - like wrappers. And I like that I can watch a DVD on my laptop while doing my work, and it actually makes me get through all the boring parts of copying and pasting and data entry.

Doug Penhall / Peter Deluise
JUMP! Street. Hurrah. Peter Deluise plays Doug Penhall who is wonderful and lovely and beautiful in the right light. Peter Deluise does some commentaries for JUMP! Street and is very lovely on those too, mostly being (justifiably) rude about his acting. He moved into directing (though he also played a bully on Friends, and did a guest thing with his brothers and dad in Third Rock from the Sun) and was involved with the Stargate things and Jeremiah. I have listened to a few Stargate commentaries and he is still adorable but unfortunately rather earnest about things that really don't deserve it.

The Dukes
The Dukes is our local arts cinema and theatre. I love it. I have a student card, so all the films and all of their home-produced plays are a mere £3. And they have a bar, which isn't hideously expensive, and you can take drinks in with you, but you're not allowed ice in the live productions because of the actors. I assume because of the noise, though perhaps they've had some disgruntled patrons and had the need to remove any possible projectiles? It's quite a small place, and they usually show things like Harry Potter and LoTR a few weeks/months after they come out, and then the "critically acclaimed" stuff, and interesting foreign-language films. The last two films I saw there were Jarhead and Breakfast on Pluto. People tend not to talk through the films, which is lovely, though there are often some particularly knowing chuckles, which is amusing. And occasionally some politically-motivated clapping.

Doctorate/degree
I hope to earn one. Unfortunately that will require a lot more work than I'm doing at the moment. Mmmm. I try not to think about the end of the degree too much, as it seems like tempting fate, and the middle is also a bit scary, but I have at least started it, and I have a proposal, which is a good step. Although technically I'm an MPhil student, not a PhD student.

Diaries
Other people's, that is. I do not keep one, other than this journal. Fictional people mostly. I really like well done novels in diary form - Provincial Lady, Adrian Mole, and the Princess Diaries are pretty good fun. And Bridget Jones was really good at the diary entries. It's probably also why I enjoy lj, though not all of you are fictional.
slemslempike: (feminsm: Girl Power)
"Do you ever have nightmares in which babies are being sold on auction blocks? If you do not have such visions, you should begin."

I took some old feminist journals from the 1960s/170s out of the library, and this is the first line of the first issue. It's not a particularly encouraging start. The journal's called "No More Fun and Games", and they're not kidding. The articles are, uh, interesting. Apparently homosexuality is unnatural, and only exists because of rigid male/female roles. And girls wearing "diaphanous" minidresses deliberately incite the cat-calls they hate. I dislike these positions, and they do stick to the with us or against us very rigid approach, but I admire their anger and drive. It's easier to do things when you're certain of your right, and to tell people exactly what needs to be done, rather than invite discussion and change discourse and mainstream things. When I worked with Rape Prevention Education the leader used to say "where's the anger", because that was what drove people to create resources and fight against rape, but it seemed to have dropped away. I don't know. I do quite like this poem (although I hate the insult "cock-sucker")

as i was walking along
the gentleman to my left
addressed me as a fat-assed pig
feeling this comment to be neither accurate nor appropriate
i reciprocated by calling him a lecherous old whore-monger
taking no pleasure in his most recently acquired appellation
he proclaimed me a
bitch in heat
i said in reply
that my condition was far more
desirable
than his condition which was that of a mangy cock-sucker
he retorted with fuck you
whereupon i gasped admirably
and waddled on

Jayne West

Spelling!

Jun. 1st, 2005 12:06 pm
slemslempike: (Default)
[Poll #504258]
slemslempike: (Default)
A poll on swearing. If I have left out your favourite word, or the whole thing offends you, tell me so in comments.

ETA: Argh! WANDERING around, I know this really! Bloody uneditable polls.

What the... )
slemslempike: (Default)
75 points on one go! 'Hilly' and 'vary' converging at the Y, placed on a triple word score. Mmm-hmmm.

Book sale very disappointing, and didn't buy anything. I nearly bought a book on Prostitution in the 1990s, but then I flipped through the section about feminism and, to paraphrase,

- there are some definitions of feminism that are reasonable, but these are far too broad, so I'm only going to concentrate on the BATSHIT CRAZY FEMINIAZIS WHO ARE OUT TO TAKE MY JOB, MY WOMEN AND MY BALLS. They can't even agree on a definition amongst themselves, so they're clearly worthless.

I also saw something called The Bitch Book but it turned out to be something to do with breeding. Huh.
slemslempike: (Default)
The university subscribes to the OED online! Oh, frabjous day!

A nonsense-word invented by ‘Lewis Carroll’ (C. L. Dodgson), app. intended to suggest ‘fair’ and ‘joyous’; used vaguely by others in various contextual senses. Hence {sm}frabjously adv.

1872 ‘L. CARROLL’ Through Looking-Glass i. 24 O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! 1899 KIPLING Stalky 144 Oh, you frabjous asses! Ibid. 244 You're a dirty little schoolboy. Besides bein' frabjously immoral. 1935 ‘D. SMITH’ in Famous Plays 1935-36 171 I'm frabjously late. 1937 D. L. SAYERS Busman's Honeymoon iv. 96 Oh, frabjous day!.. All my life I have waited to hear those exquisite words, Peter darling, The sweep's come. 1970 New Yorker 10 Jan. 6/1 A frabjous sort of place in a somewhat vorpal neighborhood.

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