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February 15, 2014

Weird Word Origins

The English language is dense with common and shared word roots, suffixes and prefixes, but some words emerge out of...

...unlikely or even misunderstood observations or comparisons.

Human experience or observation has enriched every language, and perhaps it doesn't even really matter how 'accurate' these observations may have been.

Some words are more central to human experience, like 'work', 'hand' or 'mother' while others, like those explored in this short video (http://mentalfloss.com/article/55072/40-weird-word-origins) represent some of what might be called more marginal words - words that may not be used in everyday conversation to express common themes or experiences.

In this video you will see where words like 'muscle', 'denim' and 'Yankee' (and several others) came from.

The bulk of every language is the every day words, but the 'marginal' words, used appropriately, are the real mark of a master of the language.

As always, send us any new words or phrases (or even pictures) that baffle you and be sure to let us know what it is about English and language learning that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


Also.....If you write poetry check this out .....

FOLEY POETRY CONTEST http://americamagazine.org/contact/submissions --- NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline: March 31, 2014. Each entrant is asked to submit only one poem of 30 lines or fewer for consideration. No poems will be returned. Only typed, unpublished poems not under consideration elsewhere will be considered. The winning poem will be announced in early June and published in America. The cash prize will be $1,000.

Posted by mmorf at February 15, 2014 12:40 PM


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