Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bits and Bobs

Okay, so maybe there's something in my head. Lots of little bits of things floating around that haven't got much of a category, so here, let me splat them out like confetti in this blog. (Except that one rarely looks at individual pieces of confetti, does one? Well, you're looking now! Party on.)

"Pantry" is a cute word. It sounds little and prim and, I don't know--Beatrix Potter or something. I was wondering how it derived and was thinking of things like pots and pans, but it turns out (says Online Etymology Dictionary) that it's got to do with "pan," the Latin for bread. I should've known that.

The thing I can't figure out is what the "t" is doing in there. I would have thought it would have been "pannery" or something.

Have I mentioned before how I hate when people say "orientate" instead of "orient"? Yes. Of course I have, because I really, really hate it. So I was reading The Alchemyst by Michael Scott (not that great, in my opinion, if you were wondering, which you might have been since you're reading this, but entertaining enough for me to have finished it) and at least three times in the book, he uses the word "disorientate" or "disorientated" . . . and gets away with it. But not with me! Oh no.

My mom has loaned me (for a long time!) a set of work-out videos, and it makes me chuckle and roll my eyes pretty much every time when in one of them, the instructor, who has been taking her victims through a brief cardio segment, says, "We're almost near the end!"

Did she mean to do that? Was she being ironic? "I know you're getting tired and you wish we were close to being done, but we're not--we're almost close! Bwahahahaha!" Somehow I kind of doubt it, but it would be pretty awesome if that's what she meant.

Then again, today I got a letter from my new literary agent (yep--that's what I said! More on that . . . sometime) in which she said the rating my manuscript had gotten from the critique editor was very good and "almost rare." I'm familiar with "most rare," though it's a kind of archaic way of expressing oneself. But I don't think I even know what "almost rare" even means. It's okay, though. I liked everything her letter said, and if she's going to help me sell another book, I'll start figuring out ways to use the phrase "almost rare" every day if I have to!

This is not a linguistic observation, but it is an observation: you can tell times are tough when people start putting signs in their front yards advertising the sale of two side-by-side graveyard plots. Someone on my commute to work has the bottom half of a screen door (the non-screen part) leaning up against their mailbox advertising this sale item.

I'm trying to figure out what they're planning to do about dying. Just not do it? Or maybe they're hoping Jesus will come back first but in the meantime they'd like to make a little money off someone who doesn't believe He's going to? Or maybe they've decided on cremation and floating off in the breeze somewhere.

I'm just not sure how to feel about this.

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