Archive for the ‘General Musings’ Category

Diversifying My Vocabulary!

July 23, 2018

I recently discovered an award-winning Irish crime novelist (Adrian McKinty) and read one of his books (The Cold Cold Ground).  I enjoyed it tremendously and am looking forward to reading more of his books.  During the course of my reading, I ran across numerous “new” words that I had not ever encountered before.  Luckily for me, the author included a glossary in the back of the book to help me understand what these new words meant (Irish, slang).

bairn = baby
bap = head
banjaxed = broken/messed up
bog = toilet
charbanc = bus/motor coach
eejit = idiot
fenian = Catholic (derogatory)
ganch = guy/bloke
Jaffa = Protestant (derogatory)
Kesh/Long Kesh = Maze Prison
kit = clothes
muckers = boys
neb = nose
Old Bill = Police
peeler = policeman
pochle = a mess
Proddy = Protestant
sheugh = ditch
sleekit = sly/crafty
taibhse = spirit (Gaelic)
taig = Catholic (derogatory)
Twelfth of July bonfire = a bonfire celebrating the 1690 Battle of the Boyne
wean = kid


English is a Crazy Language!

July 22, 2018

Here is an essay by Richard Lederer.  Enjoy!

English is a Crazy Language

Let’s face it: English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
And while no one knows what is in a hotdog,
you can be pretty sure it isn’t canine.

English muffins were not invented in England
nor French fries in France.
Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads,
which aren’t sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted.
But if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly,
boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write,
but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce,
and hammers don’t ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth,
why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth?
One goose, 2 geese. So, one moose, 2 meese?
Is cheese the plural of choose?
One mouse, 2 mice.
One louse, 2 lice.
One house, 2 hice ?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables,
what does a humanitarian eat?

Why do people recite at a play, and play at a recital?
Ship by truck or car and send cargo by ship?
Have noses that run and feet that smell?
Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
How can the weather be hot as Hell one day
and cold as Hell another?

When a house burns up, it burns down.
You fill in a form by filling it out
and an alarm clock goes off by going on.

You get in and out of a car,
yet you get on and off a bus.

When the stars are out, they are visible,
but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it,
but when I wind up this essay, I end it?

English is a silly language …
it doesn’t know if it is coming or going !!


The Hawk!

July 21, 2018

Now that we are in the dogs days of summer, I’m reminded of the lyrics  from the Rogers and Hammerstein musical, Oklahoma,  . . . “Oklahoma, ev’ry night my honey lamb and I . . . Sit alone and talk, and watch a hawk, makin lazy circles in the sky.” And speaking of hawks, here is a poem by W.B. (William Butler) Yeats entitled “The Hawk.”

“CALL down the hawk from the air;
Let him be hooded or caged
Till the yellow eye has grown mild,
For larder and spit are bare,
The old cook enraged,
The scullion gone wild.’
“I will not be clapped in a hood,
Nor a cage, nor alight upon wrist,
Now I have learnt to be proud
Hovering over the wood
In the broken mist
Or tumbling cloud.’
“What tumbling cloud did you cleave,
Yellow-eyed hawk of the mind,
Last evening? that I, who had sat
Dumbfounded before a knave,
Should give to my friend
A pretence of wit.’

Fun Facts Friday, Number Eighty-Five!

July 20, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “time.”  Do you know . . . which has more time zones, the People’s Republic of China, or Alaska?

While China may be an exceeding large country, Alaska actually has more time zones (2): the Alaskan time zone and the Hawaii-Aleutian time zone; the People’s Republic of China has one time zone: Chinese Standard Time.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Who Knew?!

July 19, 2018

Growing up in a household where homemade bread was the norm, I’m quite familiar with the yeasty smell that would permeate the house during the pre-baking process.  However, I was totally unaware of the many other definitions of yeasty.  Now I know.


\ uhk-sawr-ee-uh s, –sohr-, uhg-zawr-, -zohr- \, adjective;

1. of, containing, or resembling yeast.
2. frothy; foamy.
3. youthful; exuberant; ebullient.
4. trifling; frivolous.
5. characterized by agitation, excitement, change, etc.
Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich, and

National Hot Dog Day!

July 18, 2018

Happy National Hot Dog Day!    In 1991, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council created National Hot Dog Day.  This informal holiday coincides with the same day as the annual Capitol Hill Hot Dog Lunch, which is generally the third Wednesday of July.   Here are some fun facts:

  • hot dogs & hamburgers are a summertime staple in the U.S.
  • 9 billion hot dogs are sold annually in the U.S.
  • Americans eat 155 million hot dogs on the 4th of July each year.
  • From Memorial Day to Labor Day, 7 billion hot dogs are consumed in the U.S
  • 26 million hot dogs a year are eaten at U.S baseball stadiums.
  • In 2014, 7-Eleven sold over 60 million hot dogs.
  • in 2017, 7-Eleven sold over 100 million hot dogs.
  • mustard is the most popular condiment for hot dogs.
  • ketchup and chili come in as the 2nd and 3rd most popular condiments.


It’s All a Matter of Degrees!

July 17, 2018

Well, we are midway through the month and the heat of summer is bearing down upon us.  But to help put the temperatures we are experiencing into perspective, here’s a wonderful infographic (courtesy of the BBC) that shows us the range from what truly is “absolute cold” to what is “absolute hot.”  Enjoy!


Time for a Massage!

July 16, 2018

Happy Monday!  Yesterday marked the start of “Everybody Deserves a Massage Week.”  So I say it is time to fit one into your schedule.  The Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) sponsor this annual event (which began in 1995) as a way to promote the benefits of massage.  Check your local area for spas/massage therapists who may be providing discounted offerings this week.  Here is a list of some providers in the Tulsa area.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Eighty-Four!

July 13, 2018

Today’s real facts (courtesy of are all about paper.  Did you know that . . .

  • no piece of paper can be folded more than seven (7) times?  (Real Fact #77)
  • U.S. paper currency isn’t made of paper?  It’s actually a blend of cotton and linen.  (Real Fact #423)
  • recycled paper is made using 40% less energy than normal paper?  (Real Fact #704)
  • every ton of recycled paper saves about 17 trees?  (Real Fact #705)
  • in the U.S., there is an official rock, paper, scissors league?  (Real Fact #1272)
  • bubble wrap was originally invented as a wallpaper in 1957?  (Real Fact #1468)


This Could Be Harmful to Your Health!

July 11, 2018

Today’s word is a very common word attributed to one’s life and/or lifestyle and eating habits.   But this doesn’t mean that you can’t use a different word every now and then.


\ uhn-hel-thee \, adjective;

1. not in a state of good or normal health; in an unsound, weak, or morbid condition.
2. symptomatic of or resulting from bad health
3. not conducive to good health; unhealthful
4. morally bad, harmful, or contaminating
5. dangerous; risky


Other words you may consider using (depending on your context/usage, of course):

Source: The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich. Definitions courtesy of