Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Update Report - Halfway Through D (and I'm taking a break)

A not very accurate visual depiction of how I will spend my break ...
(photo from Pixabay)

Halfway Through D!

Well, in all honesty I'm perhaps 1/3 of the way though D. But it's happened. After almost two years of uninterrupted blogging, I have decided for the first time that I need to take a break. I've blogged in sickness and in health; from the snowy peaks of Transylvania to the sun-kissed streets of Barcelona; most recently, I have even blogged directly from the delivery suite at our local maternity hospital (with my wife's blessing, I quickly add). But I'm afraid there is a limit - and that limit has arrived in the form of a 9lb bundle of milk-supping, sleep-sapping, time-grabbing joy. It's wonderful, it really is ... but my word is it exhausting! Therefore, I've (very reluctantly) decided to take a break from Lexicolatry for maybe a month - at least until he's settled into a day and night cycle. After that, when my eyes aren't burning in my head and I'm able to read again, I will pick up my journey where I left off, and I do hope you pick it up with me.

In the meantime, if you haven't already, do join the Lexi Facebook group and Twitter feed - I'll still be posting interesting things on these, and it's on these I will also announce when I will resume. It's been an exciting year - Lexicolatry was again a finalist in the Blog Awards Ireland, just pipped at the post in the Arts & Culture category by the very excellent Headstuff. Readership for Lexi has continued to grow, and it's as fun and exciting to write as it was in the very beginning, so thank you! Thank you all again for your readership and comments. Do keep an eye on the various Lexi groups, and I shall see you in a month or so.


Email: eddie.lexi@gmail.com
Twitter: Lexicolatry

Monday, 27 October 2014

Dinosaur - The Terrible Lizard That Isn't

The T-Rex
(photo by David Monniaux)


Noun. Mid-19th century.
[from modern Latin dinosaurus, from Greek deinos 'terrible' + sauros 'lizard'.]

An extinct terrestrial reptile, frequently of gigantic size, of a group which was dominant in Mesozoic times,
some having pelvic girdles like lizards (order Saurischia) and others like birds (order Ornithischia);
figurative. something that has not adapted to changing circumstances, a clumsy survival from earlier times.

For proof, if ever proof were needed, that neither dictionary definitions nor etymologies provide the definitive facts of a matter, one need look no further than the word dinosaur, a word coined from Latin and Greek meaning 'terrible lizard' by the brilliant but thoroughly objectionable Sir Richard Owen . And, yes, I personally am prone to fall into the well-actually-the-dictionary definition-is or well-originally-such-and-such-a-word-meant way of thinking, but it's very often completely and utterly wrong. In this case, dinosaurs aren't (and never have been) lizards; cupboards are nearly always (and always have been) more than boards that hold cups; and women don't generally retire to their boudoir to sulk.
Sir Richard Own
(I'm reserving his story for the word 'git')
Oh, and just in case anyone cares, my favourite dinosaur is and always has been the triceratops.

Do please leave your most prehistoric comments in the box below.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Digerati - The Digital Literati

Photo by Daniel Bagel


Noun plural. Late 20th century.
[Blend of DIGITAL and LITERATI.]

People with expertise or professional involvement in information technology.

I used to think that being a blogger meant I could rightly call myself a member of the digerati, but the words professional and expertise rule me out entirely.  Ah well. 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

D'you Mind if I Didgeridoo?

Photo by Graham Crumb


Noun. Also didjeridoo, didgeridu. Early 20th century.
[Aboriginal of imitative origin.]

A long tubular wooden musical instrument of the
Australian Aborigines which is blown to produce a resonant sound.

Didgeridoo makes Lexi just because I like the sound of the word and the sound of the instrument, which makes sense as it's apparently a word of imitative origin. If you're not sure about the didgeridoo, then maybe Adèle and Zalem will change your mind. Enjoy!

Do please leave your most austral comments in the box below.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Diddums - Aww! Did It Hurt?

I don't know what's happened here, but saying 'Diddums!" will make it worse
(photo by La Fine Soltanto)


Interjection & noun. Late 19th century.
[from did 'em, i.e. 'did they' (sc. 'tease you' etc.).]

(A form of address to young children and jocularly to adults) expressing commiseration or endearment.

I nearly got into a fight over the word diddums once. I was cycling with friends through a rather rough estate in Oxford (yes! Oxford has rough estates), and I took a corner a bit too fast on my BMX and skidded off, skittering across the tarmac in a dramatic but very painful fashion. I was back on my feet, wincing at my torn 501s and bleeding leg, when a boy in a leather jacket taunted me from across the street: "Aww. Diddums! Did you hurt yourself? Did it hurt? Aww! Diddums!"

Now, I've never been one that's easily moved to anger, but that really got me. In fact, I would go so far as to say it enraged me! And suddenly I found myself sizing up to a boy considerably bigger and older than me, with the standard chest-shoves and shoulder-thrusts and back-and-forths: "C'mon then! Yeah! You wanna 'ave a go! Let's go then! Yeah? C'mon! 'Ave a go then if you think yer 'ard enough!"

Anyway, my point is this: diddums, whilst it may sound like a mild enough provocation, actually has the power to infuriate the mildest of souls. Fortunately, we both tired of the histrionics and parted ways, hurling insults as we went, without it actually coming to blows; I then went home (as I had really, really hurt myself) where my Mum patiently picked the bits of gravel out of my leg ... and possibly kissed it better ... I don't remember exactly.

Seriously, though, I could've 'ad him, I could.

Have you ever got into a testosterone-fuelled brawl over the word diddums?
(I say testosterone, but I was about 8, so that wasn't it in my case)

Do please leave your most sympathetic comments in the box below.
(It really hurt! There was blood and everything! And my favourite jeans!)