TiDbits

The Sound of Silenced Letters


We know the letter B doesn’t belong in subtle

But what has the letter C got to do in a muscle?

The role of the D in Wednesday we can’t define

Why should G be present in a gnat or in a sign?

To be honest, does the H in rhyme ring a bell?

And can the J in marijuana anybody smell?

Who knows why the K in knee won’t knock

And why the L in walk or in calf would not talk

The first M in mnemonic is hard to understand

Would the damned N in the column ever stand?

We can’t say the P in psalm or in psychology

And S alone gets tossed out from the debris

Is the T heard when you listen to a whistle?

W is not write, it’s wrong, don’t try to wrestle

X is the mistake in a faux pas, get the clue?

Hush, no rendezvous with Z, goodbye, adieu!

SHAKESPEAREAN SHAKESPEARE:


Who were the bride and the bridegroom?

Romeo and Juliet.

When did he propose?

Twelfth Night.

What did he say?

As you like it.

From where was the ring obtained?

The Merchant of Venice.

Who were the chief guests?

Antony and Cleopatra, Troilus and Cressida.

Who were the bridegroom's friends?

The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Who prepared the wedding breakfast?

The Merry Wives of Windsor.

What was the honeymoon like?

A Mid Summer Night's Dream.

How would you describe their quarrel?

The Tempest.

What was their married life like?

Comedy of Errors.

What was the bridegroom's chief occupation?

The Taming of the Shrew.

What did she give him?

Measure for Measure.

What did their friends say?

All's Well that Ends Well.

What's the moral of this story?

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

LOVERS OF ENGLISH


I met a Surgeon who named his son Naïf

(pronounced Knife).

I said what an apt name!

Then I came to know the following:

1. Lawyer’s daughter - Sue.

2. Radiologist’s son - Ray.

3. Ophthalmologist’s daughter - Iris.

4. Florist’s daughter - Rose.

5. Mechanic’s son - Jack.

6. Archaeologist’s Son - Doug

7. Thief’s son - Rob.

8. Gymnast’s son - Jim.

9. Jeweler’s twin daughters - Ruby and Pearl.

10. Ornithologist’s Son - Robin.

11. Orthopedician’s Son - Boney.

12. Barber’s son - Harry.

13. Solicitor’s son - Will.

14. Accountant’s son - Bill.

15. Horticulturist’s - Daughter Ivy.

16. Gardener’s son - Pete.

17. Monarch’s son - Prince.

18. Dramatist’s Daughter - Oprah.

19. Sanitation Engineer’s Son - John.

20. Highway Engineer’s Son - Miles.

21. Dietician’s daughter Olive.

22. Actor’s son - Oscar.

23. Photographer's - Son: Click.

24. Gastro-physician's Daughter: - Enema

25. Homeopath's Daughter - Arnica.

26. Teacher's son - Mark

An interesting piece by Shashi Tharoor..

As an Indian schooled in the English language, I have long been fascinated by its different variants in use around the world—from the Singaporean “la” suffixed to every sentence to the Australian “G’day” prefixed to every greeting.


But most compelling are the multiple differences between British and American English, the two languages fighting for dominance in the Anglophone world.


In my first week on a US university campus, I asked an American where I could post a letter to my parents. “There's a bulletin board at the Student Center,” he replied, “but are you sure you want to post something so personal?” I soon learned that I needed to “mail” letters, not “post” them (even though in the US you mail them at the “post office”).


In Britain, one concludes a restaurant meal by asking for the bill, and conceivably paying by cheque; in America, one asks for the check and pays with bills. What the Brits call chips are fries in America; what the Yanks call chips are crisps in Britain.


An English friend of mine says he nearly had a heart attack on a flight in the US when the American pilot announced that the plane would be airborne “momentarily”. In British English, “momentarily” means “for a moment”, and he says he thought the pilot was suggesting an imminent crash after takeoff. In American English, however, “momentarily” means “in a moment”, and the pilot was merely appeasing the passengers.


The plane took off, stayed aloft, my friend's heart stopped thudding, and he lived to tell the tale. But he understood the old adage that Britain and the US are countries divided by a common language.


Anecdotes abound about the misunderstandings that arise when foreigners come to the US thinking that they know the language.


In one anecdote, a young man, in the course of a passionate courtship, tells his American girlfriend, “I'll give you a ring tomorrow.” All he meant was that he would call her. But she understood him to have offered betrothal, and the relationship didn't survive the misunderstanding.


Then there's the hotel that failed to understand an English guest who called to say he had left his “trousers in the wardrobe”. Translators had to be summoned before the hotel staff finally cottoned on: “Oh, you've left your pants in the closet. Why didn't you say so in the first place?”


Sometimes you can get the right word but the wrong concept. Our former foreign minister, M.C. Chagla, once ruefully recounted the time he wanted to order a modest bite from room service in a New York hotel and requested sandwiches. “How many do you want?” Chagla was asked. Imagining delicate little triangles of thinly-sliced bread, he replied: “Oh, half-a-dozen should be enough.” Six sandwiches duly arrived, each about a foot long and four inches high.


The language of politics is also not exempt from the politics of language. When a member of parliament in Britain “tables” a resolution, he puts it forward for debate and passage; when an American Congressman tables a resolution, he kills it off. A “moot” point is one the Englishman wants to argue; but if it's moot, the American considers it null and void. Such differences of usage reveal something of the nature of American society. It is no wonder, after all, that while the British “stand” for election, Americans “run” for office.


A British linguist once told a New York audience that whereas a double negative could make a positive, there was no language in the world in which a double positive made a negative. A heckler put paid to his thesis in forthright American:

“Yeah, right.”


Yeah, right, indeed. With the universality of English largely a result of US global dominance, it's time for other English speakers to accept the American usage is winning worldwide. Even Indians are saying “elevator” and “apartment” rather than “lift” and “flat”. “Cookies” are supplanting “biscuits”.


And as the Americans have taught the rest of us to say,

that's O.K !

Though not even they can tell us what those initials are meant to represent !!

INTERESTING FACTS RELATED TO "BOOKS"

  1. Dog's ear - While reading a book, when we get up, we fold the corner of the page we were reading; that is known as Dog's Ear.

  2. Librocubicularist - The person who reads a book, while lying on the bed.

  3. Epeolatry - A person who worships words.Tries to string out the sweetness from every word. This is found mainly with linguists.

  4. Logophile - A person who is fascinated with words.

  5. Bibliosmia- The smell of old books.

  6. Book bosomed - A person who cannot stay a moment without books.

  7. Omnilegent- A person who reads all types of books without judging the subject.

  8. BallyCumber- Books which are half read, are called BallyCumbers.

  9. Tsundoku- A Japanese word. There is no English word for it. This means that after purchase, the book was not opened, even once.

  10. Princep- The first printed copy of any book.

  11. Sesquipedalian- A word which has many syllables, such as, ses/qui/pe/da/li/an.

  12. Colophon- The spine of the book, or where the publishers logo is seen.

  13. Bibliclasm- To spoil a book knowingly.

  14. Fascile- A part. 1st part, 2nd part etc. A book which is published in many parts, such Encyclopedia Britannica, Oxford Dictionary etc.

  15. Afficted- After reading a book, if a person feels like crying at the end, but is unable to do so. This feeling is called afficted.

  16. Bookklempt- When you have finished reading the last episode & you know that there is no other episode to read, but you are unable to digest this truth, this feeling is known as Bookklempt.

  17. Chaptigue- The tired feeling which you get in the morning, after reading a book for the whole night.

  18. Delitrium- The good feeling which you get from the smell of a newly purchased book.

  19. Madgedy- Repeatedly reading a sad story & hoping that the end will be different.