Jump to content

DarkRavie

Crusader
  • Content Count

    99
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    68

DarkRavie last won the day on October 18

DarkRavie had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

439 Trusted

2 Followers

About DarkRavie

  • Rank
    Moppet
  • Birthday March 25

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Middle Earth

Social Networks

Recent Profile Visitors

2,218 profile views
  1. DarkRavie

    New Game: What's the Word?

    What's the Word? - ANODYNE pronunciation: [an-ə-deyen] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Greek, 16th century meaning: 1. Intended to avoid offense or disagreement --- 2. Helpful in lessening or relieving pain "He feared fueling tensions any further, so he kept his remarks as anodyne as possible." "When you're sick, you want the strongest, most anodyne medicine available." About Anodyne While medicines and pharmaceuticals hog most of the spotlight for producing anodyne — or pain-relieving — effects, Tylenol and Advil aren't the only things that can bring physical relief. Anything that can soothe a situation or bring joy can be considered anodyne, like watching the sunset or, yes, watching cute cat videos on YouTube. Did you Know? Literally speaking, the Greek origins of anodyne mean "free from pain." Its more modern usage, about avoiding contention or discomfort before it even occurs, is thought to have French roots, as well.
  2. DarkRavie

    Fact of the Day

    Fact of the Day - DUST BUNNIES Did you know... that there's a passage in the Bible that says we're all dust and to dust we will return? What you might not realize is that a little bit of us returns to dust every day. When you find dust around your home, a lot of it came straight from you in the form of skin cells that are constantly flaking off and falling to the ground. So as long as you and your family choose to live indoors, there's going to be at least some dust to clean up. Wright State University professor and researcher Larry Arlian is an internationally recognized expert on dust mites, the tiny, allergy-producing creatures that live and breed in household dust. And Arlian knows quite a bit about dust. Arlian says dust is a complex mixture of a lot of different materials, and a lot of it is unavoidable. The dust on mattresses, bedding and fabric furniture contains a large percentage of skin scales. Carpeted floors hold fewer skin scales, but they still hold a significant amount. Another major dust component is fabric fibers from your clothes, carpets, upholstery and any other fabric that is regularly moved or touched. Got dust bunnies? They are basically dirty balls of fabric fibers. Typically, when we think of dust, we think of dirt, and household dust indeed contains hard particles of minute sand and soil. Plant and insect parts come into the house with soil and sand. Dust is full of finely ground leaf parts, seed pod remnants, mold spores and other plant material. Arlian said that when you examine household dust under a microscope, it is not at all unusual to spot ant heads or other insect body parts. Pets can also add to dust. Like humans, pets shed skin scales, and they also shed fur, cast off feathers, track in dirt and release dander into the air. Pet dander and feathers are both major allergens, Arlian said. One of the best ways to reduce household dust, according to Arlian, is to get rid of carpets. Carpets hold onto dust making it harder to get the dust out of your house. They also produce dust of their own in the form of carpet fibers. Vinyl and leather furniture or wooden furniture produces and harbors less dust than upholstered furniture. Making your house less dusty takes a two-pronged approach: You must get existing dust out of the environment and you must reduce the amount of dust coming in. Using high-quality furnace filters and changing them regularly is one way of reducing the amount of dust that circulates in the air around your house. In cases where family members have serious allergies, it might pay to invest in air cleaning equipment attached to the heating and air conditioning system. The benefits of having your heating system's ductwork professionally cleaned are debatable. A spokesman for the National Air Duct Cleaning Association said recently that air-duct cleaning "could be extremely beneficial" for people with allergies. However, a spokesman for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America said, "There is not a lot of evidence that duct cleaning provides a measurable improvement in indoor air quality." Vacuuming regularly helps keep dust down, and many vacuum cleaners available today have high-efficiency filtering systems that keep dust from escaping into the air after it is picked up. Arlian said dusting horizontal surfaces where dust accumulates is also important. "People used to dust with things like cloth diapers, and they just kind of moved dust around," he said. "There are a lot of dusting products available now that do a very good job of trapping dust as they are used." Unseen in the dust where we rest are colonies of eight-legged relatives to spiders and lobsters, mating, defecating and gorging themselves on our cast-off skin. Arlian, who has studied dust mites for more than 30 years, says that by the end of summer our beds and easy chairs are often teeming with microscopic dust mites. He said past studies in homes have found as many as 18,000 mites per gram of dust. Dust mites are more than just creepy; they're harmful. Researchers believe the critters and their waste can cause asthma, coughing, itchy eyes and running noses and may account for about 30 percent of all allergic discomfort. But Arlian said there are some fairly simple ways to drastically reduce the dust mite populations in the homes of people who are sensitive to their presence. First, allergy sufferers should get rid of the carpets in their bedrooms. Next they should purchase dust mite barrier covers for their mattresses and pillows. To kill the mites that live in sheets and pillowcases, bedclothes should be washed weekly in hot water. Arlian said the dust mite's major weakness is that it requires humidity to survive and remain active. He said mite populations crash during winter months when heating systems are active and indoor humidity is low. But their populations rebound in the humid summer. The best way to keep dust mite populations down, Arlian said, is to use a dehumidifier during warm months to keep the humidity in your house below 50 percent.
  3. DarkRavie

    New Game: What's the Word?

    What's the Word? - METANOIA pronunciation: [me-tə-noi-ə] Part of speech: noun Origin: Greek, late 19th century meaning: 1. A transformational change in one's way of life --- 2. A change resulting from repentance and spiritual awareness "I experienced a profound metanoia and renounced all of my sinful ways." "After I got in touch with my spiritual side, I realized this was my metanoia." About Metanoia Metanoia — a deep and profound change of heart — has sometimes been personified throughout history as a shadowy goddess cloaked in sadness. She was accompanied by Opportunity, and was known to cause regret for having missed important moments. Did you Know? Metanoia literally translates to "afterthought." The ending -noia has long been associated with thought, as it is in "paranoia," which are thoughts that don't reflect reality.
  4. DarkRavie

    Fact of the Day

    Fact of the Day - YOUR BRAIN Did you know... that you have a finite amount of willpower each day because to exercise willpower you need energy in the form of oxygen and glucose? That’s why it’s harder to say ‘no’ when you are tired or not feeling yourself. A thought is a physical pathway in the brain. The more you have that thought the more you groove that path and the easier it is to have it again. That’s why having the thought “Why do I suck?” is never a great idea. Speaking of which, you have approximately 70,000 thoughts per day, although many will be the same ones looping round and round on your grooved cranial highway. So make sure you don’t think, “Why do I suck?” 50,000 times a day, or suck ye shall. Even if you consider yourself a left-brained person, your brain will still switch over to the right side every 90 to 120 minutes and then back again. That’s why even left-brained people can have times of the day when they are more creative and right-brained people can sometimes get their taxes in order. Note: If you want to know how you can tell which side is dominant at any one time, check out Creativity – Guaranteed and you can then plan your time accordingly. Reading out loud to kids accelerates their brain development. Reframing negative events in a positive light literally rewires your brain and can make you a happier person, as can regular meditation. The brain is approximately 75% water, but you should never drink it. Your brain only weighs about 3lbs yet the greedy bastard uses between 20% and 25% of your energy supplies each day. There are approximately 10 to the power of 60 atoms in the universe. Your brain laughs in the face of that figure however, as it has 10 to the power of 1,000,000 different ways it can wire itself up. That’s the number 10 followed up with 1 million zeros, which is to all intents and purposes (for anybody not called Stephen Hawking or Rob Collins), an infinite amount of ways. Speaking of large numbers, there are approximately 1.1 trillion cells and 100 billion neurons in the average human brain. The slowest speed information passes around your brain is approximately 260 mph. And here's a bit of Brain Trivia Your brain was disproportionately large compared to other organs when you were born. That’s why babies look a bit like aliens. Not yours of course, yours are cute, just other people's babies. If you lose blood flow to your brain you will last about 10 second before you pass out. Your brain has no pain receptors which is why if I managed to remove the top of your skull without you noticing I could poke around all day without you feeling a thing. The skull removal may hurt a bit though. Even though we say the amygdala regulates danger, the cerebellum motor control, and the limbic system emotions etc, this is somewhat misleading as no part operates independently and all need other parts of the brain to get their job done. Your peripheral vision improves at night which is why pilots are taught to use their peripheral vision when looking for traffic. To read more on this topic, click here.
  5. DarkRavie

    New Game: What's the Word?

    What's the Word? - AVUNCULAR pronunciation: [ə-vən-kyoo-lər] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, mid-19th century meaning: 1. Relating to an uncle --- 2. Suggestive of the warm feelings between a man and his siblings' children "He has a genial smile and avuncular friendliness that lead many to refer to him as uncle, even if he isn't related to them." "My mom's brother treated me with a kind, avuncular attitude when I was a child." About Avuncular While in a strict sense avuncular has to do with the relationship between an uncle and his nieces and nephews, it can be applied to any male who displays a kind and indulgent attitude toward young(er) people. Did you Know? The Latin root of avuncular — avunculus — originally signified the relationship specifically with one's maternal uncle, but common usage has expanded the word to embrace the connection with any uncle.
  6. DarkRavie

    Fact of the Day

    Fact of the Day - AURORA BOREALIS Did you know... that In Roman mythology, Aurora was the 'goddess of the dawn?' The word 'borealis' is Greek for 'wind,' thus 'Aurora borealis' means 'dawn wind.' In English, though, we know them as the Northern Lights! Seeing the astronomical phenomenon known as the northern lights is a bucket-list item for many people. These dramatic curtains of colored light, which appear high in the night sky in the northern hemisphere, are most visible in the middle of the night and the dead of winter, and in remote, dark areas. Humans have seen and made stories about the lights since prehistoric times and, more recently, conducted scientific studies on them. The ethereal glow comes from collisions between fast moving electrons from the magnetosphere (the region of space controlled by Earth’s magnetic field) and oxygen and nitrogen molecules in our upper atmosphere. Electrons transfer some of their energy to these molecules when they collide; this transfer of energy is said to “excite” them. An excited molecule eventually returns to its non-excited state by releasing photons, or light particles. Large numbers of these collisions create enough light for us to see. The colors of the polar lights depend on whether electrons collide with oxygen or nitrogen, and how energetically. The change in energy between “excited” and original states has a specific value and the resulting photon has a specific color, or wavelength, Don Hampton, a research assistant professor at the Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska, tells mental_floss. Oxygen emits greenish-yellow or red light, while nitrogen generally gives off blue light; the blending of these produces purple, pink, and white. Oxygen and nitrogen also emit ultraviolet light, which can be detected by special cameras on satellites but not by the human eye. Researchers can use the different colors to figure out such things as the energy level of the electrons bombarding our atmosphere and creating the aurora. Auroras occur mostly in high latitudes, near the poles, because electrons travel along magnetic field lines and the Earth's magnetic field lines come out and go into the Earth near its poles. But auroras have been seen as far south as Mexico. In some areas, such as Alaska or Greenland, they may be visible most nights of the year. The lights also occur during the day, but we can only see them with the naked eye after dark. In fact, according to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, there's always an aurora somewhere on Earth. In January 2015, NASA-funded scientists launched a rocket, the Auroral Spatial Structures Probe, into the northern lights from the Poker Flat Research Range about 30 miles north of Fairbanks. The probe carried seven instruments to study the electromagnetic energy that can heat the thermosphere—the second highest layer of the atmosphere—during auroral events. On a related note, astronauts aboard the International Space Station often see, and photograph, the aurora. To read more on the Aurora Borealis, click here.
  7. DarkRavie

    New Game: What's the Word?

    What's the Word? - PROPINQUITY pronunciation: [pro-pin-kwə-tee] Part of speech: noun Origin: Late Middle English, 14th century meaning: 1. Close kinship --- 2. Physical nearness "The newly promoted manager's propinquity to the CEO made his swift rise seem a little suspicious." "The dormitory's propinquity to the classroom makes it a perfect place to live for the on-campus population." About Propinquity The ethical violation of nepotism — giving special treatment to a family member or close personal associate — can stem directly from close relationships within a family. This kind of propinquity, or closeness, in relations can lead to bitterness and infighting within a company or business partnership. Did you Know? Propinquity expresses a strong kind of nearness, implying a somewhat relational or familial meaning. This is different from other related words that are almost exclusively used to describe physical location.
  8. DarkRavie

    Fact of the Day

    Fact of the Day - LEVIATHAN Did you know... that Leviathan, properly known as Livyatan melvillei, is a prehistoric whale which lived approximately 13 million years ago during the Miocene Period. It was first discovered in 2008 when fossils of Livyatan melvillei were collected from the coastal desert of Peru. It was then named in 2010. Livyatan means Leviathan in Hebrew and melvillei was given as an homage to Herman Melville – the man who wrote Moby Dick. When it was first discovered, it was actually given the name Leviathan, a name of a biblical sea monster. However, at the time it was found to be inappropriate. That’s because another species had already been called this name – a mastodon that is now named Mammut. Which is why Livyatan was given as this whale’s official name, although many paleontologists still refer to it as Leviathan. If you look at Leviathan pictures, then you might come to the conclusion that this whale looked very much like a modern sperm whale. That’s because paleontologists believe that it looked very much like one. However, since they only found the head, they can’t really be sure if the whole body was shaped like a sperm whale’s body. However, scientists do now know that Leviathan was an early ancestor of the sperm whale. Leviathan had a 10-foot long skull, which is a pretty good size. Extrapolating from its skull size, paleontologists are able to estimate that this prehistoric whale was approximately 50 feet long and weighed around 50 tons – or about 100,000 pounds. That means that it was longer than a truck’s semi-trailer and weighed more than 6 times the weight of an elephant. It also had teeth that were 14 inches long. Which means that its teeth were even longer than saber-tooth tigers! One of the most interesting facts about Leviathan, however, is that it didn’t feast on plankton like many whales do. No, it was carnivorous – which means that it ate meat. Paleontologists believe that it is likely that it would have eaten seals, dolphins and maybe even other whales. While paleontologists don’t know how long Leviathan survived as a species after the Miocene Period but they can venture a guess as to why it happened. Scientists believe that changing ocean temperatures led to a widespread decrease in the number of seals, dolphins and smaller whales. This loss of prey eventually led to its extinction. Leviathan is a creature with the form of a sea monster from Jewish belief, referenced in the Hebrew Bible in the Book of Job, Psalms, the Book of Isaiah, and the Book of Amos. The Leviathan of the Book of Job is a reflection of the older Canaanite Lotan, a primeval monster defeated by the god Baal Hadad.
  9. DarkRavie

    New Game: What's the Word?

    What's the Word? - PULCHRITUDE pronunciation: [puhl-krə-tood] Part of speech: noun Origin: Late middle English, 15th century meaning: 1. Beauty --- 2. Physical attractiveness "The princess was known for her pulchritude, with artists lining up to paint her portrait." "The pristine wilds of the western U.S. were heralded as evidence of the country's breathtaking pulchritude." About Pulchritude Known for its carefully regulated proportions and composed movements, Michelangelo’s iconic Statue of David illustrates a pristine corporeal form. Like many other ancient sculptures from Italy and Greece, this work of art aimed for the pulchritude of the human body. Every subject, surface, and expression sought to reveal the perfection and beauty of human beings in any given situation. Did you Know? As odd and perhaps un-beautiful as it sounds, pulchritude stems directly from the Latin adjective pulcher, which means "beautiful."
  10. DarkRavie

    Fact of the Day

    Fact of the Day - BLOOD FALLS Did you know... that in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica is a big glacier named Taylor. From the Taylor oozes out a nearly frozen waterfall which is bright red in color. The color of the waterfall resembles the color of blood. This is why it has been named as Blood Falls and Taylor is known as the glacier that weeps blood or the glacier that bleeds. Just to let you know, Antarctica’s Dry Valleys are one of the most hostile environments on planet Earth and still, scientists have found out that the water from Blood Falls, which is unique for being almost devoid of oxygen, is the home for 17 different types of microbes. The red water oozing out from the glacier flows onto Taylor Valley’s West Lake Bonney’s frozen surface. The water oozing out from the glacier’s tongue is hypersaline and is rich in iron. It was Griffith Taylor, an Australian geologist who first found the Blood Falls back in 1911 while exploring the glacial valley. That’s why, both the glacier and its valley are named after him. The question was, what caused the blood red color? Initially pioneers blamed it on red algae but later studies revealed that the color was because of iron oxides present in the water. The Blood Falls is five-story high and sits in Earth’s one of the most inhospitable regions. Let us clarify a bit. In East Antarctica is an area known as Victor Land. In Victoria Land is what is known as McMurdo Dry Valleys or simply Dry Valleys. In the Dry Valleys is the Taylor glacier and the Taylor Dry Valley. Thus, the Blood Falls is somewhere in the middle of vast and completely inhabitable area. In 2009, Jill Mickucki, a geomicrobiologist from University of Tennessee proposed a theory to explain the blood red waterfall. Since then, her explanation has be considered as the most viable explanation for the phenomenon. It was Jill and her team who conducted experiments on the Blood Falls’ water to find that there is barely any oxygen in it and the team found at least 17 different types of microbes thriving in the water. Based on the test results, Mickucki proposed that somewhere deep underneath the glacial ice is a trapped body of water that is some two million years old. It is this trapped water source that provides the water for Blood Falls. There is a very interesting explanation as to how it all began. Scientists say that some 2 million years ago when the Taylor glacier was approaching during the so called Snowball Earth period, an ancient saltwater lake was sitting right on the path of the glacier. Over years, the glacier slid and moved over the lake, trapping the waterbed massive chunk of ice. Ever since then, the saltwater lake stayed trapped in there and so did the ancient microbes community that thrived in the water body. As the glacier covered the entire lake beneath hundreds of meters of ice, the lake was completely cut off from sunlight and oxygen supply. This pushed the microbes’ community to the very edge of extinction. With no sunlight and oxygen, photosynthesis was completely out of question for them. So, they had to adapt to a completely new method of survival. To make things even worse for those microscopic organisms, the water trapped deep below gradually lost all the dissolved oxygen, making it virtually oxygen-free water. On top of that, the water was extremely saline (twice as much as sea water) and had extremely low temperature. The extreme salinity of the water prevented it from freezing into solid ice all these years. Coming to the ancient microbe, Mickucki initially thought that they reverted to sulfate ions for survival. Many bacteria today are known to live on sulfate ions (SO42-). However, after conducting proper tests, Mickucki found that the water of the Blood Falls did not have any hydrogen sulfide! Why hydrogen sulfide? That’s because when bacteria and other microbes use sulfate as energy source, they convert the sulfate ions into sulfide ions (S2-). These sulfide ions are detected as hydrogen sulfide in water. Interesting, hydrogen sulfide was absent in waters of Blood Falls. To rule out the possibilities of any mistakes, Mickucki conducted further tests and this time on the microbes that came out from deep below along with the water of the Blood Falls. Interestingly she did not find dsrA (a particular group of genes that help microbes to use sulfate ions as energy source) in the genome of these primordial microbes. Mickucki took another step and analyzed the different types of sulfate isotopes present in the water and made and astonishing discovery. Based on the proportions of the isotopes, she realized that the sulfate ions in the water have not really depleted over last two million years. To read more on Blood Falls, click here.
  11. DarkRavie

    New Game: What's the Word?

    What's the Word? - FLUMMOXED pronunciation: [flə-məksd] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Uncertain, mid 19th century meaning: 1. Totally confused or bewildered --- 2. Utterly unable to understand or comprehend "The complex equations in his physics course left him completely flummoxed." "She was flummoxed by all of the big, confusing words inserted into the legal agreement." About Flummoxed While its synonyms have traceable origins, researchers looking into 'flummoxed' can only scratch their heads at the word's unknown derivation. But it's not alone; some common words that also leave historians at a loss include 'conundrum,' 'bizarre,' 'avalanche,' and even 'dog.' Did you Know? In something of an etymological rarity, no one is quite certain as to the origins of the word flummoxed. It has roots that are both literary and dialect-based, but no conclusive source has been determined. The word has left historians, well, flummoxed.
  12. DarkRavie

    New Game: What's the Word?

    What's the Word? - INDIGENOUS pronunciation: [in-di-jə-nəs] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, 17th century meaning: 1. Native to specific area --- 2. innate or inherent "Respect for indigenous cultures is essential for helping preserve the rich history of the people who came before us." "The indigenous birds of the Amazon have colorful plumage and fascinating behaviors not found anywhere else on Earth." About Indigenous The world's indigenous peoples represent a vast array of cultural diversity and ancient history. In fact, historians and DNA scientists now believe that Aboriginal Australians represent the world's oldest civilization, stretching as far back as 50,000 years into the past. Did you Know? In recent years, the U.S. has seen a growing movement to convert Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day, as a way to recognize our nation’s original residents rather than the person sometimes credited with erasing them from history. As of 2019, seven states officially celebrate Indigenous People’s Day (or something similar), along with many cities and local jurisdictions.
  13. DarkRavie

    Fact of the Day

    Fact of the Day - THANKSGIVING DAY (CANADA) Did you know... that a lot of people think that the holiday is just a Canadian version of American Thanksgiving, but the Canadian celebration actually happened 40 years before the American pilgrims had their dinner? In 1578 the British explorer, and occasional pirate, Martin Frobisher held a feast of thanksgiving in Newfoundland. Frobisher was giving thanks that he and, well, most of his crew had come back from a rough trip through the Arctic looking for the Northwest Passage. After storms and cold and getting lost, Frobisher was sorry he hadn’t found the Passage but very happy to be alive. This meal likely wasn’t too tasty, coming out of ships’ storage mostly salted beef and mushy peas, but it started a tradition of being grateful for what food they had. From 1606 onwards, Samuel de Champlain followed the custom of First Nations harvest festivals and held feasts in the colony of New France attended by French settlers and local Mi’kmaq people. Official celebrations of Thanksgiving moved around a lot – once the day was held in the spring in 1816 to celebrate the end of a war between Britain and France – before becoming an annual Canadian holiday in 1879. Even then it was usually held in the first week of November, often celebrated along with Remembrance Day from the 1920s onwards. Finally in 1957, Parliament settled on making Thanksgiving officially happen every year on the second Monday in October. There’s no required way to celebrate Thanksgiving, but it usually involves a big meal with family and friends at some point over the long weekend. Since the meal happens in the fall, it usually features food that’s around in the autumn, like pumpkins, squash and potatoes. American Thanksgiving is known for being very serious about their Thanksgiving foods and the tradition of having turkey for dinner is one that has crossed the border. It comes out of the old English custom of eating a big goose for special meals, but since the turkey is native to North America, it stepped up and took the goose’s place on the plate with over 3 million birds getting served each year. In Québec the holiday is called Action de Grâce and usually doesn’t involve a big dinner. However you celebrate the day, it’s a good time to take a moment to look around and think about what you’re thankful for. It could be your food or your house or the people around you – or just having a day off school in October! But, did you also know, that Americans did not invent Thanksgiving? It began in Canada. Frobisher's celebration in 1578 was 43 years before the pilgrims gave thanks in 1621 for the bounty that ended a year of hardships and death. Abraham Lincoln established the date for the US as the last Thursday in November. In 1941, US Congress set the National Holiday as the fourth Thursday in November. Frobisher and early colonists, giving thanks for safe passage, as well as pilgrim celebrations in the US that began the traditions of turkeys, pumpkin pies, and the gathering of family and friends.
  14. DarkRavie

    New Game: What's the Word?

    What's the Word? - PENUMBRA pronunciation: [peh-nəm-brə] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, mid-17th century meaning: 1. The partially illuminated outer part of a shadow created by a solid object --- 2. The outlying, fringe area in which a condition exists to a lesser degree "The shadow of the moon cast a hazy penumbra over a swath of Earth during the partial eclipse." "The sunlight coming through the curtains created a penumbra on the rug in contrast to the solid wall." About Penumbra A penumbra creates a hazy outlying region where an object doesn't cast such a heavy shadow. As a result, the incomplete region of the object's shadow might appear like an ephemeral halo around its darker, more solid region. Did you Know? Penumbra comes from the fused Latin roots of paene-, meaning "almost," and umbra, meaning "shadow." The resulting definition gives us an "almost shadow."
  15. DarkRavie

    Fact of the Day

    Fact of the Day - ENGLISH VOCABULARY Did you know.... that The English language is kinda nuts, isn’t it? After being built up, mish-mashed, and altered over so many years, we now have this giant and wonderful hodgepodge of words to choose from when forming sentences. The vocabulary a person uses is all the words that person uses. A person who is five knows 4,000 to 5,000 words. Adults who go to college may know 20,000 words. The number of words in a language is more than of the words. One dictionary may have a list of 500,000 (half a million) words. Another dictionary may have some other words that the other dictionary does not have. When you add all the words in those dictionaries, there are about 750,000 words in English. There may be more words than that. If there are 750,000 words, how can we talk with only 3000 words? Because, we do not need all the words. You can say most things with 3000 words. The most used words are short words. That is true in all languages. The 50 most common words in English have less than seven letters. Half of these words have less than four letters. The vocabulary of a language is always changing. New words are made or words change their meaning. Words about computers, like "download" are new to the English language. The new word "bling" came from hip hop. Words like "cool" have developed new meanings. The word “chicken” has been used to describe cowards since the 14th century, but it didn’t become popular slang in American culture until the 1940’s. Just 10 years after that, in 1953, kids started playing the game “chicken” to test the courage of their peers. The shortest “-ology” is oology, which is the study of birds’ eggs. Egg collecting became popular in the 1800s before the invention of binoculars made it easier to study birds. Serious collectors were notoriously obsessive about obtaining rare bird eggs. For example, in 1872, Charles Bendire, a U.S. Army soldier and noted oologist, was willing to have his teeth broken to retrieve a rare hawk’s egg that got stuck in his mouth. “Abracadabra” has an adjective form! It’s “abracadabrant” and, according to the Learn English Network, it describes anything that seems to have happened by magic. A “rounce-robble-hobble” was the nickname given to thunderclaps in Elizabethan English. The name Rebecca can also be used as a verb to mean “demolish a gate.” If you have any friends named Rebecca, this is your cue to go tell her not to Rebecca. The words “bookkeeper” and “bookkeeping” are the only words in the English language that has three consecutive double letters without needing a hyphen. Any number with a series of repeating digits, like 7777, is called a “repdigit.” Makes total sense, actually. “Pangram” = a sentence that contains all 26 letters of the English alphabet. Here’s one: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” There are 10 words hidden inside the word “therein” — you don’t even need to rearrange it to find them! They are: the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein. A 672-sided shape is called a “hexahectaheptacontakaidigon.” No thanks, not even going to try to pronounce that. Never tell your significant other that they look “erinaceous” because it means they look like a hedgehog. Unless they think hedgehogs are cute, in which case, go for it. Speaking of significant others, the Old English name for honeymoon is “flitterwochen,” which means “fleeting weeks.” Can we start using this one again? The letter E makes up 11% of the entire English language. “Uhtceare” (pronounced oot-kay-are-a) is a noun describing the act of waking up before dawn, but being so worried about something that you can’t go back to sleep. Some of our students may recognize this feeling as the one they experienced the night before the big test. A “squib” means, technically, “a type of small explosive” or “the head of an asparagus” (big jump, I know). But if you’re like me, you’re thinking, “No, a squib is someone born into a wizarding family but doesn’t have any magic powers … like Filch.” Thanks, Harry Potter. If you’re not like me, the last two sentences never happened. The word “eyeball” was invented by Shakespeare, along with hobnob, skim milk, and luggage. The word “selfie” was the Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year in 2013 because the use of the term increased 17,000% from 2012 to 2013. To “snirtle” is to try and suppress a laugh. It’s classified as any suppressed laugh that’s a just bit shorter than a snicker or a snigger.
×