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The Free Dictionary Language Forums
Monday, April 13, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009 4:26:07 PM
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Last 10 Posts
Wednesday, April 15, 2009 12:27:46 PM
The movie was actually entitled: "Darby O'Gill and The Little People".
The Blue Whale
Wednesday, April 15, 2009 12:24:34 PM
The latest on blue whales is that there was a recent discovery of over
5000 blues among some coastal islands along the South American coast...
as I recall it was the Chilean coast. This area has been their breeding
and calfing grounds since whenever...we just didn't know about it.
Besides, its more fun to wring our hands and moan about extinction and
blame ourselves ...which is probably also why that news item was never followed up on or repeated.
Comedians who are wordsmiths
Wednesday, April 15, 2009 11:58:31 AM
Norm Crosby really knew how to mangle the English language and it was the main
theme of his act. Example: "My wife was having female problems so she made an
appointment with a groinacologist."
Wednesday, April 15, 2009 11:45:23 AM
A peck is actually one-fourth of a bushel as there are four pecks in
a bushel. Nothing more. Nothing less. If I say that "you missed by
a mile" does that mean that the definition of "mile" is not a 5,280-foot
measure of distance or shall we define it as "a lot"? Whoever wrote
today's definition "missed by a mile" and should have paid more attention
The Added Bonus of Repetitive Redundancies
Monday, April 13, 2009 1:20:26 PM
Just to demonstrate how abundant redundancies are in our language, check out
some that George Carlin came up with:
An now for some favorite, everyday redundancies.....................
seeing the sights
Monday, April 13, 2009 1:06:05 PM
It used to be that the word "issue" was politely used in social circles to
hint that a certain person had personal problems as in: "John is always
grumpy but then he does have issues." Now the word "issue" is used every
day as euphemism for "problem" and it drives me nuts! I notice that "issue"
is usually used by the person who has direct responsibility for solving the
"issue" being referred to. It doesn't sound so bad to say you're having
"issues" and if you're on the hot seat you definitely don't want to mention
the "P" word! As Howard Cosell used to say: Stop BS-ing and "tell it like it is!"
The word "issue" is defined in the American Heritage College Dictionary as follows:
issue (ĩsh′ ōō) n. 1.a. The act or an instance of flowing, pass-
ing, or giving out. b. The act of circulating, distributing, or
publishing by an office or official group. 2. Something pro-
duced, published, or offered, as:a. An item or set of items, as
stamps or coins, made available at one time by an office or
bureau. b. A single copy of a periodical. c. A distinct set of
copies of an edition of a book distinguished from others by
print variations. d. A final result or conclusion, as a solution
to a problem. e. Proceeds from estates or fines. f. Something
proceeding from a specified source. 3. Offspring; progeny,
4a. A point of matter or discussion, debate, or dispute. b. A
matter of public concern. c. The essential point; crux. d. A
culminating point leading to a decision. 5. A place of egress;
an outlet. 6. Pathol. a. A discharge, as of blood or pus. b. A
lesion, a wound, or an ulcer producing such a discharge.
7. Archaic. Termination; close. --v. -sued, -suing, sues.
--intr. 1. To go or come out. 2. To accrue as proceeds or
profit. 3. To be born or be descended. 4. To be circulated or
published. 5.To spring or proceed from a source.See Syns at
stem¹. 6. To terminate or result. -- tr. 1. To cause to flow
out; emit. 2. To circulate or distribute in an official capacity.
3. To publish. -- idioms. at issue. 1. In question; in dispute.
2. At variance; in disagreement. join issue. 1. To enter into
controversy. 2. Law. To submit an issue for decision. take
issue. To take an opposing point of view; disagree. [ME <
OFr. eissue, issue < VLat. *exūta, alteration of Lat. exita,
fem. p.part. of exire, to go out : ex-, ex- + ire, to go; see
el-*.] - is′suer n.
need help here
Monday, April 13, 2009 12:32:56 PM
To add to Epiphileon's explanation, "scaring the heck out of someone" is the
politically correct euphemism for "scaring the Hell out of someone". This
probably has its roots in the effects of old-time evangelists and preachers
who preached "fire and brimstone" in order to literally scare their parishoners into piety and free them from their sins, and therefore Hell.
Meaning of "whistle down the wind"
Monday, April 13, 2009 12:14:25 PM
I believe that the phrase: "whistle down the wind" is correctly used when
the "whistler" is trying to act or think as though someone or something does
not exist. Thus Tom was trying to act as though Becky didn't exist and therefore didn't matter; also, the speaker with no skills was acting as though the audience didn't exist and was "whistling down the wind" to forestall her anxiety.
Left Hand Links to Brain Faster after Transplant
Monday, April 13, 2009 11:48:43 AM
The brain contains the "knowledge" for the sensory and motor functioning of
each hand in the opposite side of the brain for the hand in question. Thus
re-connecting each hand simply re-establishes the nerve pathways that connect
brain with hand muscles and sensors. The reason that the left hand recovers
full use more quickly in a right-handed person is probably quite simple....
The right hand in a right-handed person is used more often and for more actions
so it makes sense that the brain would take longer to re-establish the more
complex connections. Likewise, since the left is used less, its connectivity
would be more quickly re-established. Basically we would expect the length of
time for full recovery to be in direct proportion to the complexity of pre-injury usage.
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