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The Free Dictionary Language Forums
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Thursday, July 3, 2014 3:18:14 AM
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Last 10 Posts
Saturday, February 8, 2014 10:37:40 PM
You may recognize the similarity with "Rubicon," the famous stream of antiquity that Caesar crossed:
in phrase to cross (or pass) the Rubicon "take a decisive step," 1620s, a reference to a small stream to the Adriatic on the coast of northern Italy which in ancient times formed part of the southern boundary of Cisalpine Gaul; crossed by Caesar Jan. 10, 49 B.C.E., when he left his province to attack Pompey. The name is
from Latin rubicundus "ruddy," in reference to the color of the soil on its banks.
You may share the labours of the great, but you will not share the spoil.
Saturday, February 8, 2014 9:50:47 PM
You may share the labours of the great, but you will not share the spoil.
(620 BC-560 BC)
This is one of the central problems facing the Peoples Republic of China, an oligarchy of wealth and power which morphed out of a Communist state. The gap between the haves and the have nots is wider than the Grand Canyon, setting the stage for another Mao.
It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for...
Thursday, January 30, 2014 2:51:26 AM
noun: law; noun: the law 1. the system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties.
It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience.
Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)
His statement is redundant as punishment is intrinsic to the definition.
In fairness to Hamilton, I believe he was merely highlighting the importance of penalty as one of law's essential elements.
Next, as a practical matter, laws on the books are not always enforced by penalties. Such is the case in The Peoples Republic of China in which the Constitution guarantees various individual rights, but in practice those those rights are routinely violated by the government with impunity. For that reason and for many others, the PRC is not a nation governed by the Rule of Law, despite lip service to the contrary.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 6:04:33 AM
Having been left outside the circle of nice people the crude but sensitive Absurdicuss let loose with an extraordinarily sad eldritch sob.
You are squarely within the circle, absurdicus,
Monday, January 27, 2014 5:24:18 AM
Here's the the etymology from etymonline.com: hidebound (adj.)
1550s, from hide (n.1) + past tense of bind (v.). Original reference is to emaciated cattle with skin sticking closely to backbones and ribs; metaphoric sense of "restricted by narrow attitudes" is first recorded c.1600.
Like emaciated, hungry cattle suffering from a lack of food, hidebound conservatives suffer from a poverty of ideas.
The accumulation of all powers, Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and...
Sunday, January 26, 2014 4:15:05 AM
Someone should remind the Communist Party of the Peoples Republic of China.
Sunday, January 26, 2014 12:56:06 AM
English clearly has too many words. That would be the fate of any other world language. From everywhere, form any place and country words flow into English and are registered in dictionaries. But it can't be the aim of an ESL-speaker or EFL-speaker (second language/foreign language) to know all these words in the dictionaries.
I once read a statement about this matter by a British author. If you knew 50,000 words that would be a lot. But you easily find another 50,000 words you've never seen or heard of in your life.
And, I think, this must be a bit frustrating that you continually find words you don't know. I think, in my mother-tongue German, we don't have this effect of being overfraught with foreign words.
But of course, you find them in special areas of language as advertisements, the computer and internet sector and other sectors where a new vocabulary comes into being. But after some time we assimilate these foreign words and often coin our own ones.
So no one in this universe knows complete English language. Your mother tongue was German, so how did you learn english, is it possible a person who is not a native speaker but learn english better than a native speaker...
I can't speak for rogermue, Peaceful, but the answer to your question is an emphatic "yes." Take novelists Vladimir Nabokov and Joseph Conrad, for instance, both masters of English prose. But then you said "speak," not "write." I have heard recordings of Nabokov (eloquent), but not Conrad. Presumably he also spoke English well. There are many other examples if we search.
Back to "eldritch," it is a favorite of mine, a word associated with writers like Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. "Eldritch" is listed as "Scots Word of the Season" in an online article here:
Saturday, January 25, 2014 10:32:51 PM
"One-horse" and its synonym, "jerkwater" share more than a common meaning. They are both examples of metonomy:
A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated (such as "crown" for "royalty").
"One-horse" substitutes for a remote, small town with which it is closely associated. Similarly, "jerkwater," the practice of filling boilers of trains from creeks near remote small towns the trains service, is closely associated with the small towns themselves.
As time passes the association between small towns and lone horses and between trains which must "jerk water" to get to the small towns has grown weak, particularly in the case of "jerkwater" which no one but train enthusiasts and etymologists understands today. The technology of travel has changed. We no longer access small towns with horses and boiler trains--at least in technologically advanced nations. "Old tar," a metonym for "old sailor," is another example of a dated association. Historically, sailors were associated with tar because to waterproof the seams of wooden-hulled ships, they caulked the seams with tar, something they no longer do with metal or fiberglassed hulls.
In fifty years many of the metonyms we use today will mystify a new generation of English speakers. Time marches on...
Thursday, January 23, 2014 3:52:32 AM
If the horn of plenty depicted above were inverted and a hole drilled in the pointed end, with a little work we would have the makings of an opulent smoothie.
Miners of the Gold Rush preceded farmers of the Land Rush the poster encourages.
Lord Byron (1788)
Thursday, January 23, 2014 3:29:49 AM
So much life and so many contradictions packed into thirty-six short years! And the author of some of the most beautiful verse in the English language:
She Walks in Beauty
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
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