Thursday, August 27, 2015

Condiment


Jason from Traverse City called in to get an opinion on an ongoing difference that he is having with his wife. He thinks that the term condiment should be limited to catsup, mustard, pickle relish, salt, pepper, and items of that nature. His wife’s definition is much broader, including salsa, hummus, hot sauce, gravy, and so on. Sorry, Jason: I have to side with your wife after a few forays into dictionaries.

Huffpost Taste says that, "the world of condiments reaches far beyond ketchup, and even much further than your mustards and relishes. It's a vast and varied terrain of flavor-boosters, from fiery hot sauce to cooling tahini."

The Oxford English Dictionary defines condiment as “anything of pronounced flavour used to season or give relish to food, or to stimulate the appetite.” In the original Latin, condiment involved preserving or pickling. A later figurative application refers to anything that adds zest to a situation.

The Power Thesaurus includes as synonyms chutney, salad dressing, applesauce, mayonnaise, radish, broth, vinegar, and gravy. Relish is a common synonym. It came from an Anglo-Norman word that meant residue or remainder. In America, it is usually assigned to a sauce made of chopped pickles.

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.com and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.





Sunday, August 16, 2015

G-string and the Alphabet


Morgan asked about the origin of G-string. Linguist Robert Hendrickson says that G (or gee) stands for groin, which was a taboo word in the late 1800s. Cecil Adams (The Straight Dope), suggests an origin from "girdle-string", which appears as early as 1846. In other words, no one is certain where the term originated, though the undergarment actually exists.

At any rate, that led me to think about words based on letters of the alphabet. These words tend to fall into two broad categories: words based on the shape of a letter, and words that use a letter as an abbreviation for a longer word. Here’s a sample.


A-frame
B-movie
C-section
D-ring
E-book
F-10  (Fujita tornado scale)
G-string
H-bomb
I-beam
J-hook
K-12
L-hook
M-16
N-bomb
O-ring
P-ring
Q-school
R-rated
S-hook
T-bone
U-turn
V-neck
W-2
X-ray
Y-hook
Z-score 

 

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.com and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.





Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Advance or Advanced?


I’ve seen a number of notices recently that misuse the word advanced. Here’s an example from a physician’s office: “If you know that you are going to miss a medical appointment, please give at least a 24-hour advanced notice.” That should have been advance notice.

The adjective advanced means sophisticated, complex, or at a level higher than others. In graduate school, you might get an advanced degree. You could study advanced nuclear physics. Your great-grandfather is at an advanced age. Advanced thinkers do not accept simplistic solutions. Your five-year-old child has a more advanced vocabulary than other children her age.

The adjective advance means supplied ahead of time, or prior. You give your employer advance notice—notice before you quit. Before you reach a crisis in health, you give your physician an advance directive—don’t plug me into a machine if there’s no realistic chance of recovery. We appreciate advance warning when serious storms are approaching. Advance ticket sales often come with a discount.

Viewed side by side, advance warning is given before a crisis occurs; an advanced warning would be highly sophisticated—perhaps a holographic image projected into the sky. Advance warfare would impossibly involve armed conflict before the fighting broke out; advanced warfare might depend on laser technology or robots. An advance stage of cancer would be strangely pre-cancerous; an advanced stage of cancer would probably mean that death is imminent.

 


Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.com and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.







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