Wednesday Wordplay: Correct punctuation can save lives

wednesday wordplay


Wednesday Wordplay: from Ashe to Updike


henry winkler as the fonz - happy days Assumptions are the termites of relationships.
            — Henry Winkler
  The arts must be considered an essential element of education… They are tools for living life reflectively, joyfully and with the ability to shape the future.
            — Shirley Trusty Corey
  Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.
            — Arthur Ashe
arthur ashe postage stamp
  I simply cannot understand the passion that some people have for making themselves thoroughly uncomfortable and then boasting about it afterwards.
            — Patricia Moyes
Georgia O'Keefe I said to myself, I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me – shapes and ideas so near to me – so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down. I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.
            — Georgia O’Keeffe
  Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
            — Thomas A. Edison
  Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.
            — Bill Gates
young Bill Gates
  Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
            — Theodore Roosevelt, September 1913
John Updike Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.
            — John Updike
  If you’re never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances.
            — Julia Sorel
  If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.
            — Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford actress
  I like coincidences. They make me wonder about destiny, and whether free will is an illusion or just a matter of perspective. They let me speculate on the idea of some master plan that, from time to time, we’re allowed to see out of the corner of our eye.
            — Chuck Sigars, September 8, 2003
David Shore House MD Only two things you ignore: things that aren’t important and things you wish weren’t important, and wishing never works.
            — David Shore, House M.D., Not Cancer, 2008


Urban Dictionary


Audience Typing

When a person’s typing abilities degrade when they must type in front of others, leading to misspelled words, improper capitalisation and most likely resulting in blushing.  Worse if that other person is an older relative or someone you respect.

Father asks, "Put Manchester United into Google there for me"
Son, "Sure"
Results in – "Manchetser UNited" being typed into Google.


Wednesday Wordplay: meaning of the word ‘pretty’ – very powerful!


Katie Makkai – ‘Pretty’



Katie Makkai, a veteran poetry slammer – defining the word “pretty”.

Wednesday Wordplay: Stephen Fry vents about word usage

Don’t like nouns becoming verbs?

Get over it bitches!!



Stephen Fry vents regarding his distaste for audiophiles who point out every little grammatical error instead of enjoying the energy and seduction of language.  And check out the great typographical animation!!


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: Worst Headline of the Year

I think this is an easy candidate for the year’s worst newspaper headline!

worst headline of the year

Wednesday Wordplay: Voltaire and a texting world-record



Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation, for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.
           — George Washington

Live well. It is the greatest revenge.
           — The Talmud


cynthia ozick I’m not afraid of facts, I welcome facts but a congeries of facts is not equivalent to an idea. This is the essential fallacy of the so-called "scientific" mind. People who mistake facts for ideas are incomplete thinkers; they are gossips.
           — Cynthia Ozick

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.
           — Sidney J. Harris


Regimen is superior to medicine.
           — Voltaire


Sometimes creativity is a compulsion, not an ambition.
           — Ed Norton, Entertainment Weekly



English teenager breaks texting world record



Samsung Galaxy S

25.94 seconds. That’s how fast Melissa Thompson of Salford, England, was able to type a complex sentence, which makes her the new Guinness World Record holder for fastest typing on a phone.

The sentence for this particular record, as determined by Guinness, reads as follows:

The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.”

Before Thompson, teenager Franklin Page of Seattle held the record, typing the same sentence in 35.54 seconds in a competition in early 2010.  (nearly 10-seconds slower!)

Interestingly enough, Melissa claims she’s out of shape as far as texting goes. She used to send a lot of text messages to her boyfriend Chris — 40 or 50 per day day, she says — but after they moved in together she hasn’t been texting as much.

But when Samsung Corp. invited her to have a go at breaking the world record, it turned out her fingers were in better shape than she thought; she texted faster than anyone else and by a large margin. The new world record still awaits official approval from Guinness, but if it turns out to be legitimate, the title of the world’s fastest texter will move from the U.S. to England.

More info here.