Wednesday Wordplay: mangled words and John Wayne


words often mangled or misused

As a kid, did you ever dread being sent to the principle’s office?  Or have you ever asked someone to be discrete with delicate information you’ve given them? 

English is a Rubick’s cube of confusing possibilities. Here are a few of the most famous word mangles and mix-ups:

cache / cachet

Cache, “a hidden store,” is sometimes confused with cachet, “prestige, appeal.” Both words come from French, but cache is pronounced like “cash,” while cachetrhymes with “sashay.” The confusion may be encouraged because we often don’t write final accents for words borrowed from French like resume andprotege, so people may mistakenly think that cache is one of these words ending in an “ay” sound. Cachet is one of these “-ay” words, but one that ends in –et, like cabaret.


pore / pour

When you read something closely, you pore over it. You only pour over something if you are dumping a liquid on it. It may seem to some that they are pouring their attention or vision over something they are reading, and this metaphor encourages the confusion.


shined / shone

Shine is one of those “strong verbs” that had an irregular past tense and past participle (shone) but later acquired a regular form ending in –ed as well. Some people use the forms interchangeably, but there is a pattern that most people follow to keep them distinct. Shined takes a personal subject and an object: I shined the flashlight at the bear. Shone is used of light sources and does not take an object: The moon shone over the harbor.


enervate / energize

Many people believe that enervate is a synonym of energize, but in fact the words are antonyms. Enervate means “to deprive of energy or vitality.” This is because enervate comes ultimately from Latin nervus, “sinew,” and means literally “to cause to be without sinews,” that is, “to weaken.” Ancient and medieval anatomists could not distinguish the white fibers of sinews or tendons from those of nerves, and the word nerve was once used for both things.


Motivational Quotes



All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.
           — Martin Luther King Jr., ‘Strength to Love,’ 1963

A mother only does her children harm if she makes them the only concern of her life.
           — W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge, 1943


The best way to realize the pleasure of feeling rich is to live in a smaller house than your means would entitle you to have.
            — Edward Clarke


arnold palmer 

Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.
            — Arnold Palmer


Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters..
            — Samuel Johnson


Storms make oaks take deeper root..
            — George Herbert


If you really want to do something, you do it. You don’t save it for a sound bite.
            — Liz Friedman, House M.D., Hunting, 2005


John Wayne 

Courage is being scared to death – but saddling up anyway.
            — John Wayne

Wednesday Wordplay – the iPhone effect

 Inspirational Quotes


Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities.
            — Frank Lloyd Wright, quoted in his obituary, April 9, 1959

It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.
           — J. K. Rowling

I think that when you invite people to your home, you invite them to yourself.
            — Oprah Winfrey, 20th Anniversary DVD

If you really do put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.
            — Anonymous

Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It’s unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don’t have to try.
            — Peggy Noonan, in Good Housekeeping

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.
            — John Wayne

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
            — Bill Gates, Business @ The Speed of Thought

Many people weigh the guilt they will feel against the pleasure of the forbidden action they want to take.
            — Peter McWilliams, Life 101

Don’t need to say please to no man for a happy tune.
            — Neil Diamond, Cracklin’ Rose

Urban Dictionary

iphone effect

shortly after one person in the group brings out their iphone, the rest follow suit, ultimately ending all conversation and eye contact.

"Hey, what do you want to order for drinks?" "Not sure, let’s see what Imbibe Magazine has for their best beer this month." First iphone comes out of the pocket–enter safari search. Next iphone comes out–enter Facebook post. Third iphone makes an entrance — the iphone effect has arrived.