The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

Profile: Orson Burleigh
About
User Name: Orson Burleigh
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Occupation: Retired
Interests: Reading, Photography, Shooting
Gender: Male
Home Page
Statistics
Joined: Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Last Visit: Friday, October 20, 2017 11:06:59 AM
Number of Posts: 152
[0.02% of all post / 0.07 posts per day]
Avatar
  Last 10 Posts
Topic: Boredom: What is it?
Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 4:21:14 PM
Daemon wrote:
Boredom: What is it?

Boredom is a condition that has been described by psychologists as arising not from a lack of things to do but from an inability to latch on mentally to a specific activity. Often viewed as a trivial nuisance to be escaped by sleeping, daydreaming, or participating in a new activity, it has been linked to a range of psychological, educational, and social problems. The first recorded use of the word "boredom" is in Dickens's Bleak House, written in 1852. What are the 3 types of boredom? More...


Think On a curious (and personal) note, I have recently noticed that boredom has almost completely disappeared from my life. Beginning in my fifties long waits at the doctor's office, at the Motor Vehicle Administration or long airplane flights ceased to be irksome wastes of time. Those enforced periods of down time became opportunities to consider and reconsider, to analyze and synthesize, to sift and curate information gained while working, in conversations or by reading.

As my sixties passed and the time for retirement neared there was apprehension that a possible reduction in mental challenges might lead to a return to what was remembered as uncomfortable and frequent boredom. Nearly three years into retirement, I am heartened that this has not happened. There is more time now for reading and rumination. Travel is less constrained and is not artificially limited by a need to work while traveling or to return to the office by a specific date. The additional time spent at home, in the company of my wife, is as rewarding, as comfortable and as mentally stimulating as could ever have been hoped.
Topic: theologian's ecstasy
Posted: Saturday, September 23, 2017 3:28:12 PM
vkhu wrote:
Quote:
Then I am a religious man, Prendick, as every sane man must be. [...] And I tell you, pleasure and pain have nothing to do with heaven or hell. Pleasure and pain—bah! What is your theologian's ecstasy but Mahomet's houri in the dark?

-The Island of Doctor Moreau


I understand the reference to Mahomet's houri (the virgins of Islamic paradise), but I can't find anything on "theologian's ecstasy". Is it some kind of Christian reference? What is this ecstasy the man speak of?


As a formerly religious person I am not aware of a specific Christian reference involving theologian's ecstasy as a catch phrase. I suspect that your author intended the phrase theologian's ecstasy as a generalized reference to the experience sought by would-be believers or describers of belief.

My own limited experience as a former seeking and proselytizing Christian is, of course, neither exhaustive nor comprehensive: There may well be some course of study, prayer, contemplation, meditation, self-abnegation, auto-flagellation or pharmakeia-based mind-alteration used by some school, sect or branch of Christianity which does use theologian's ecstasy in a specific reference to a specifically defined experience.
Topic: dry
Posted: Saturday, September 23, 2017 2:40:15 PM
D00M wrote:
Hello respected teachers,

This river dried out two years ago because of drought and over-consumption of underground water resources.

I'm pretty sure the above is not natural, at least. Would you please make it natural?


This is a perfectly good sentence which clearly offers two causes to explain why the river ceased to flow (dried out) two years previously. Providing the identity of the river might be useful to readers, but the lack of that specific identity does not lessen the quality of the sentence. If the sentence was part of a paragraph or of a reported conversation, the identity of the river and even the identity of the underground resource (possibly a specific named aquifer) might be provided in other sentences or in another part of the conversation.
Topic: Umlaut
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 7:24:25 AM
[/quote] In a world where they want to be rebels, it always confuses me how derivative and unoriginal the image is.

Of course, people do notice how ridiculous it is. And some do break free Whistle





But this misuse only works when they are completely out of place and mean nothing.

In languages where they are actual letters, the joke fails!
Whistle d'oh! [/quote]

It is to laughApplause I had not previously noticed that Spinal Tap's umlaut is placed over a consonant.d'oh!
Topic: What is the New Fuss About Boris Johnson?
Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 12:41:50 AM
Following UK politics at a distance and somewhat in the way other folks follow a sport, I had come to admire Boris Johnson for his entertainment value. He was always fun to watch as a guest-host on Have I Got News For You. Though he was usually bested when crossing words with Ian Hislop and occasionally when exchanging arched eyebrows with Paul Merton, stammering Boris seemed to be at least bright enough to legitimately be in the contest at that high level. Boris quite shone as London's Mayor when he deftly eviscerated the heavy-footed Mitt Romney (U.S. Republican Party's 2012 Presidential Candidate).

That having been said, one has to wonder if Boris Johnson and the rest of the Tory Brexiteers were any less surprised by their victory than were Prime Minister Cameron and the Tory Remainers by their defeat. That question can't be answered, of course. One has to wonder also if Cameron's negotiators could have worked for and obtained a better outcome in the pre-referendum negotiations with Brussels. An agreement to reduce and limit the perceived scope of EU rule-making might have satisfied many of the people who were quite unhappy with what they saw as petty and pervasive EU interference on matters that they considered to properly be national or local concerns.
Topic: What is the New Fuss About Boris Johnson?
Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:19:56 PM
Anxious I has been said that 'Lets you and him fight' is the title of the first lesson in the syllabus of Journalism 101 - How To Do It.
Topic: The physiology, the chemical rhythm of the creature
Posted: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 9:50:30 AM
vkhu wrote:
Quote:
It is not simply the outward form of an animal which I can change. The physiology, the chemical rhythm of the creature, may also be made to undergo an enduring modification [...]


I'm a bit confused here. Is the part in bold another type of modification, or does it clarify what physiology is? I'm not familiar with this subject so I can't really tell which is which.


vkhu, your suggestion that the chemical rhythm of the creature is intended to be a clarification of what the enduringly modifiable physiology might be is correct. Analysis of the sentence structure shows that the chemical rhythm of the creature was intended to refer to and to clarify the physiology.

Without more information, the validity and the quality of the unidentified speaker's assertion that he/she can cause or create long lasting changes to some animal's form and metabolic function can't be assessed.
Topic: she would of asked us
Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 5:24:39 PM
Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
Hello!

This is from "Gone With The Wind" by Margaret Mitchell:

“Look,” he said. “Don’t it look to you like she would of asked us to stay for supper?”

“I thought she would,” said Stuart. “I kept waiting for her to do it, but she didn’t. What do you make of it?”

“I don’t make anything of it. But it just looks to me like she might of..."


I guess it means she would have asked us... This is a dialog between two boys who are not very well educated, so I would have assumed the "of" instead of "have" was just a wrong way of saying it.
However, the fact that a similar pattern is repeated twice ("she might of") makes me wonder whether it is a more or less established one?

Could you please advise?


Margaret Mitchell, the author of 'Gone With the Wind,' graphically represented the various accents of the south. She carefully gave distinctive voices to characters who would have been similar in class and in exposure to education. The Tarleton brothers, Stuart and Brent, were of ante-bellum (pre American Civil War) Georgia's rural upper-class (planter class or plantation owners) and would have been provided (or at least exposed to) good education.

As with all classes, some children of the planter class benefit more than others from educational opportunities. In Gone with the Wind words used by the Tarleton twins are subtly different from the level of dialogue given to Ashley Wilkes or Rhett Butler. Though Wilkes and Butler were members of the same social class as the Tarleton brothers and were near contemporaries, their more standard speech choices were intended to show that Wilkes and Butler had been more effective students and were, in effect, better educated than the Tarletons.

It is likely that Miss Mitchell chose to graphically represent the sound of the contraction 'would've' with the down-scale written version 'would of' to emphasize the slight differences of personal abilities or educational distinction that could be found within the planter class.

"Would of" and "could of" as written versions of the contractions "would've" and "could've" have been used for a very long time by people for whom writing is essentially a transcription of speech. The ubiquity of "stream-of-thought" texting in recent years has brought "would of" into new prominence along with "they're-their-there," and "you're-your-yore."
Topic: whey
Posted: Saturday, September 09, 2017 6:30:32 PM
When this bit of doggerel was introduced to American children of my generation, the explanation given by teachers was that the unfamiliar poetic pairing of 'curds and whey' referred to what we children were familiar with as cottage cheese.

Though cottage cheese is defined as a 'soft white cheese made of strained and seasoned curds of milk,' the cottage cheese sold in most U.S. super-markets contains some retained whey as well as the unripe cheese curds.

Cottage cheese has at various times been considered to be an appropriate source of protein for people who were trying to lose weight or to avoid gaining weight. For that reason, many little misses who were determined to remain little have eaten a version of curds and whey in the form of cottage cheese.
Topic: Nonfake vs unfake
Posted: Sunday, September 03, 2017 2:33:14 PM
Romany wrote:


Orson -

"... the process, act or action of converting the false, the counterfeit or the feigned into truth, fact, legitimacy or genuineness..."

To which I would argue that as converting a 'fake', thing into a 'real' thing is impossible there is no need for a neologism to describe it.Whistle


I seem to have blundered into the commission of thought crimed'oh! Mea magna culpa.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines. Copyright © 2008-2017 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.