Monthly Archives: August 2010

Funny sign at a Loveand coffee shop

flickr adamselwood

Funny signs are my hobby.  At a local coffee shop yesterday, I saw a small sign on one of the coffee carafes.  Normally, they say bold blend, decaff, vanilla, etc.  One of the varieties posts when I went to fill my cup was

Jamacian me crazy.  Great way to start the day.

For the local folks, it was a one of my fav places to work and write — DaddyO’s Green Onion. (Thanks to Terry and the crew there.)

List of words for things you didn’t know had names

flirkr Xurbie

I read many blogs about words.   One that I look at consistently  is by Tom Gillipspie. 
In a recent post, he has a website link for labels for things you didn’t know had a name.  

The source is the Merriam-Webster web site.

Lots of fun new labels for you to use to impress your friends.  I did know at least one.  The aglet that is the piece on the ends of shoelaces.

 I love learning new words, don’t you?

What is a natatorium?

flickr lee coursey

Natatorium — What the heck is that?

Sometimes, but not often, I come across a word I have not heard.  One that came up recently is the word natatorium.  Do you know what a natatorium is?

A natatorium is swimming pool. It is usually in a separate freestanding building. Like many words, natatorium has its roots in Latin.  A cella natatoria was a swimming pool in its own building.

Sometimes the term is also applied to any indoor pool even if not housed in a dedicated building Examples of this would be a pool at a school or a fitness club.   Many colleges and universities have natatoria.

I said I never heard of the word but I think there was a natatorium used in many of the past Olympics, I just wasn’t paying attention to the word then.

Champing or chomping at the bit?

 Champing at the bit or chomping at the bit?  This is one of those phrases that have been distorted over the years.  I have been using the wrong one (as I did with anxious vs. eager) for most of my life.

The proper way to say it is champing at the bit.

To champ is to do a repetitious, powerful opening and closing of the mouth that produces sounds when the teeth hit together.  Also means to show impatience at being held back or delayed.
For the non-horse oriented crowd a bit is a metal piece that is placed in the horse’s mouth and attached to the reins. It helps to control the horse when it is being ridden.

Champ turned into chomp like stamp become stomp, if you know what I mean.

As time goes on chomping at the bit is becoming more widely accepted.

New words in the dictionary

flickr greeblie

Each year, dictionaries add new words.  They base these new works on how often they are used over time.

Katina Solomon of contacted me recently via email.  She says she reads  and thought an article onlinecollege published recently on “50 Funniest Pop Culture Sayings That Made it to the Dictionary” might be something I could use. 

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Lectern or podium?

Lectern or podium?  There is a difference but most people incorrectly say podium when they mean lectern.   This is a pet peeve of mine like  anxious vs. eager.

Let’s look at the two words.

PODIUM:  A raised platform to stand on.  For example, someone giving a speech or an athlete receiving an award would stand on a podium.   

It comes from Latin word pes, pedis that means foot.  Just remember to relate it to podiatrist or pedal. It is also used by band and orchestra conductors, directors of choirs and by the clergy in some churches.

One stands on a podium. 

LECTERN: A lectern is upright piece. It is freestanding, and one stands behind it.  IT usually has a slanted top for note or books.

The origins is from the word lectere, meaning to read. Think of the word lecture.

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Sign fail or dude, where’s my spellchecker?

Misspelled signs or funny signs are entertaining to me.   Some real signs are funnier than anything you can make up.

A couple of days ago, I saw a sign that caused me to go get my camera so I could share it with you.

Someone was going to have a moving sale.  They got a 4 x 8 piece of plywood to spray paint to let the world (or at least NE Loveland) know of their sale.   They posted the sign for a few days at a very busy intersection in Loveland

The problem?  They didn’t spellcheck or have someone who has taken basic English look at the sign before they put it out on the corner.

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