Sunday, October 30, 2016

Bear & Bare


Pat Phelan wrote, “I am curious as to why people say bare with me when you are talking to them? I find it happens more often during a telephone conversation rather than in person; offhand, I don't know of any time I heard that in person, actually.”

First of all, remember that bare and bear, while they sound identical, are very different in meaning. “Bare with me” would be like saying, “get naked with me.” “Bear with me” is the spelling that you need.

“Bear with me” is connected to words such as forebear and forbearance, words that project patience and putting up with something.

Bear started out meaning to carry a weight, but it progressed to toleration. “Bear in mind”—meaning remember—amounts to “carry this in your head.” “Bear with me” amounts to “tolerate me, be patient with me.” It has carried this meaning since the 16th century.

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






Monday, October 24, 2016

Rifle Receiver



Jim from Traverse City called in a question about firearm terminology. He pointed out that the body of a handgun is called a frame, but in a rifle, it’s called the receiver.

Receiver in its general sense goes all the way back to the late 14th century, when it was established as a receptacle, a repository, something that holds and receives an object. The receiver of a rifle houses or receives the loading and firing mechanisms—the hammer, the trigger, the bolt, the barrel, and the magazine, if the weapon is a repeater. The receiver is where the serial number is usually engraved. In England, it is simply called the body. As the specific name of the core of a rifle, in print it dates back to 1851.

A related term is the stock of a firearm. That’s the part that’s held in the hand in a pistol, and rested against the shoulder in a rifle. In the late-15th century, it referred to the wooden support for a ship’s cannon. By the 16th century, it was used as the name of the wooden section of a musket or fowling piece. In the early 19th century, it became part of a cliché: lock, stock, and barrel. It originally came from an Old English word that meant a tree trunk.


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, October 09, 2016

Brang

                                                                     [credit: Pinterest]

Penny asked why it’s incorrect to say I brang a bottle of wine instead of I brought a bottle of wine. She hears the former so often that it’s making her a bit insecure.

The confusion arises because there are two basic verb types, regular and irregular. The regular verbs are the ones that end in –ed when using the simple past tense or the past participle:

walk, walked, walked
            (I walk to school daily.)
            (I walked to school yesterday.)
            (I have walked to school for years.)
smell, smelled, smelled
            (I smell a gas leak.)
            (I smelled one yesterday, too.)
            (Other people have smelled gas a few times in the basement.)
laugh, laughed, laughed
            (I laugh whenever I watch the Three Stooges.)
            (We laughed at his joke because it was funny.)
            (My mother has laughed so often that she has developed laugh lines.)
           
The irregular verbs are off the chart when it comes to forming the simple past tense or the past participle. There is no consistency; they must be memorized.

begin, began, begun
bite, bit, bitten
bring, brought, brought
creep, crept, crept
cut, cut, cut
drink, drank, drunk
eat, ate, eaten
forbid, forbade, forbidden
go, went, gone
hit, hit, hit
lie, lay, lain
wear, wore, worn

Not an –ed in sight, but there is no uniformity, either. The brang error comes from modeling the word on the sing/sang/sung pattern, but there’s no good reason for that. We have to think, thank, thunk.

And a word of warning: Neil Diamond used poetic license when he wrote Play Me; don’t follow his lead:

Song she sang to me, song she brang to me,
Words that rang in me, rhyme that sprang from me
Warmed the night.


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.





Dona Sheehan's prints