Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Notes on H-N

I actually didn't mark anything in the "H" section, but my anal-retentive-librarian sensibilities prevent me from discussing "I" until I have mentioned H.

So, what I learned about the letter I is that it used to be used as a prefix on verbs to indicate the past participle. "i-lend is the pa. pple. of lend and "i-called is the pa. pple of call". What struck me about this is that i is now a prefix for everything "Apple" (i-pod, i-tunes). Apple looks strangley like the abbreviations pa. pple used in the OED. Is this a coincidence?

I also learned in the letter I that "impedimenta" (such things as to impede progress) is a real word. It was not made up as a spell in Harry Potter.

The last word in the J-section is jocoserious - "half serious and half in jest" which Shea says is an example of itself. One of my favorite words in sequipedialian which means a word with many syllables. The break down is thus: sequi meaning one and one half; and ped a foot - so we have a word that is a foot and a half long.

This segues well into my next note. Shea discusses words that are not in the dictionary as his preface to the "K" section. I was glad to see that he said that just because something is not in the dictionary (even the OED is not exhaustive) does not mean it is not a word. I have yet to see anyone use the word "bustophredalian" (which I hope I am remembering correctly) other than my map librarianship professor in library school. It describes the serpentine pattern of the grid numbers on a topographic map.

I have also now given myself to coin a new word: "bisequicentennial" - a synonym of tricentennial.

Apparently nothing much stuck me in the L-section either. The M-section is longer than most, but the first thing I marked was near the end: "mothersome - anxious or nervous the way a mother is". As a college instructor I am all too familiar with the term helicopter parents. My daughter is only 11 and I worry less about her than some parents of adult college students do.

I don't know whether things stopped being as interesting, or if I simply got tired of making notes, but my N-section is bereft of post-its as well.

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