Issue 127, page 4
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From Gene Wilkes:
The Hindi word(s) are baingan, brijal, and brinjal. So you can see where the East Indian inhabitants of Trinidad & Tobago get their word. Thanks for that information, Gene!
From Sabina Calhoun:
Very interesting. We wonder how likely it might be that the German influenced the American English.
From Anthony Stevens:
From Brian Futch:
Well, Anthony, when someone says, "Would you do x?", if we are willing and able, we respond, "Sure!", otherwise we say, "No, I'm sorry, I can't." (A true curmudgeon would answer "Yes, I would" without carrying out the action.)
We were unable to get Fowler's expertise on that issue as he does not seem to address it. However, the new Microsoft Encarta Dictionary, which contains copious usage notes, uses a question mark in the instances we describe. We stand firm, and we disagree with the position of the national association of court reporters, et al, Brian. Hey, if the President can screw up English, certainly a national association can make mistakes, as well.
From Dick Timberlake:
Either that, or "merkin hair tidge".
Actually, he didn't really tend to drop syllables as much as his Texan successor, George "Dubya" Bush. And, for those of you who've been asking about the "Dubya", it is the Texan pronunciation of the letter "W", which stands for Mr. Bush's middle name. (Which is...? (We're too busy to look it up!))
From LaVona Sherarts:
Glad to hear that the alternative Mac page works for you. For other Mac users out there who are not aware of it, that page is at http://www.takeourword.com/indexmac.html. If our regular home page causes you and your Mac problems, the special Mac page should work just fine.
From Jack Cook:
"A century earlier, merkin signified a... well... [ahem] an anatomical replica in which lonely men found consolation."
Actually, we haven't seen the term fifi used in that sense and didn't find it in the usual slang resources. Great work, Jack!
From Emmanuel C.
While the evidence seems to indicate that "all the outs in free" is actually a more modern interpretation of ollie ollie oxen free, it is interesting to see that this reading is at least 150 years old. Also, it's amazing for us to receive first-hand etymological information like this which reaches back so far. Thanks for that information, Emmanuel!
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Last Updated 08/18/01 06:44 PM