Thursday, November 20, 2003


I subscribe to an email service called A-Word-A-Day, which is kinda cool...each week has a new theme, and you receive a daily email giving a usually obscure word, its origin, and examples of how it has been used in modern day parlance. Sounds a bit daggy, I know, but I've found it really interesting (though most of the "new" words haven't made it into my vocabulary!). One of the few bizarre words that I do remember is "mondegreen":

mondegreen (MON-di-green) noun

A word or phrase resulting from mishearing a word or phrase.

[Coined by American author Sylvia Wright from the line "laid him on the
green," interpreted as "Lady Mondegreen," in the Scottish ballad "The Bonny
Earl of Murray."]

There's a website dedicated to mondegreens related to songs - we've all done it, been convinced we knew the words to a song, and found out after singing it wrong for years what the true lyrics are!! Like that Toto song "Africa" for me - I always thought the line was "Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like a lepress [like a female leper - don't ask???] above the serengeti" - and it's actually "rises like OLYMPUS" - how bout that!!

Each A-Word-A-Day email also gives a quote from a famous person or a proverb, and I've compiled a few of the ones that I thought had something to them:

You are never too old to be what you might have been
- George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), novelist (1819-1880)

Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations
- Leo Buscaglia, author, speaker and professor (1924-1998)

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a
listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of
which have the potential to turn a life around

- Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998)

We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones
- Francois de La Rochefoucauld, writer (1613-1680)

The great tragedy of science -- the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an
ugly fact

- Thomas Huxley, biologist and writer (1825-1895)

For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, "It might have

- John Greenleaf Whittier, poet (1807-1892)

The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the
greatest virtues

- Rene Descartes, philosopher and mathematician (1596-1650)

The tears of strangers are only water
- Russian proverb

Hmm, enough deep thoughts for one day, I think!!


Post a Comment

<< Home