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Minikin's Journal

Routine Ramblings of an Occasionally Interesting Housewife

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LJ Idol Season 6 - Week 10 - Open Topic

I'm easily distracted. In computer terms, my interrupt processor works great, but when it comes time to pop the stack, the stack got cleared.

The most common way I get distracted is to trip up on the words themselves. I'll be babbling along to someone and interrupt myself to talk about a word I just used. Often, it'll be one of my pet not-a-words. Ept, for instance. It turns out, after doing a little research, that the root for inept is actually apt, so a person who's especially capable is apt, not ept.

3. unusually intelligent; able to learn quickly and easily: an apt pupil.

I've a personal fascination for words that we use more often in the modified state than the root itself. I've gotten used to just assuming that the root word isn't a word on its own anymore. Last week, when I was complimented someone on being particularly well put together, I called her "kempt," and then I distracted myself by speculating on whether kempt is a word with the modifier, un. In my defense, the Apple spell checker doesn't think kempt is a word. However, on researching the matter, I've found kempt in dictionary.com.

1. neatly or tidily kept: a kempt little cottage.
2. combed, as hair.

Her hair wasn't kempt, but the rest of her was. ;)

And this is where the dictionary game really gets my goat. Alternative definitions. Not so much the alternative definitions for a single word, but the definitions so widely variant as to mark it a wholly different word. As I listened to a recent podiobook, the repeated references to the hapless protagonist triggered me into thinking about hapless and then hap. I've never heard the word used, so I assumed it was in the same category with ept and kempt. It turns out that not only is hap a word, it's two words. And to be argumentative, I'd have to say the story was rife with his haps. (def. 2)

hap: 1
1. one's luck or lot.
2. an occurrence, happening, or accident.
–verb (used without object)
3. to happen: if it so hap.

hap: 2 Chiefly Pennsylvania.
1. a comforter or quilt.
–verb (used with object)
2. to cover with or as with a comforter or quilt.

I think the next time I get myself all wildered with words, I should just hap myself and read a good book.

wil⋅der: 1 Archaic.
–verb (used with object)
1. to cause to lose one's way.
2. to bewilder.
–verb (used without object)
3. to lose one's way.
4. to be bewildered.

wild⋅er: 2
comparative of wild.


This entry was written for inclusion in The Real LJ Idol writing competition on Live Journal, Topic 10: Open Topic.
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One of our favourite verbs at home is 'to eff'. Since 'ineffable' means 'indescribable', it stands to reason that there must be a verb 'to eff' out there in archaic land. It also sounds rude, which is another attraction.

OOOH, ineffable is fertile ground:

utterable; expressible.

1630–40; < F < L effābilis, equiv. to eff(ārī) to speak out (ef- ef- + fārī to speak) + -ābilis -able

no eff, but ef- is a prefix:

var. of ex- 1 (by assimilation) before f: efficient.

a prefix meaning “out of,” “from,” and hence “utterly,” “thoroughly,” and sometimes imparting a privative or negative force or indicating a former title, status, etc.; freely used as an English formative: exstipulate; exterritorial; ex-president (former president); ex-member; ex-wife.
Also, e-, ef-.

< L, comb. form of ex, ē (prep.) out (of), from, beyond

So, by the time it gets into a word:



fari being the root verb, which hasn't lasted as a word itself in English, for speaking.

I like it.

But! Buried treasure!

ex⋅stip⋅u⋅late  [eks-stip-yoo-lit, -leyt]
–adjective Botany.
having no stipules.
Also, estipulate.

1785–95; ex- 1 + stipule + -ate 1

stip⋅ule  [stip-yool]
–noun Botany.
one of a pair of lateral appendages, often leaflike, at the base of a leaf petiole in many plants.
1785–95; < L stipula stalk, n. use of fem. of *stipulus firm (recorded in LL); akin to stipes

it turns out that the second word stipulate is the corresponding adjective, although the more commonly known first word is the more familiar verb, generally employed by lawyers.

Oh yes, words. I'm drawn by them.

LOL! I think this is your best entry yet! :)

*laugh* Lynn and I constantly debate words and meanings. Google and Online Dictionary are our friends! :D

As a lover of words, this amused me so.

I have never heard the word "kempt" before but I like it! Although sadly I guess I have more use for unkempt. I loved this entry, I am such a word dork as well :D

I am so glad I'm not the only one that does this!

Seriously, my fiancée probably think I'm horrible. He's currently learning swedish, and I tend to go off about the weirdest tangents on what different parts of words mean and how they fit together. It's just so interesting!

That's fun... I actually do that sort of thing, too... I even occasionally accidentally make up words that SHOULD be, and then just stick with them. ;)

I love this. It's reassuring to know that I'm not completely off my nut. Or if I am, that at least I'm not alone. ;)

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