I love words. Take today, I was listening to a replay of Fresh Air on NPR. The storyline was , “ I Pledge Allegiance To Linguistic Obfuscation“. Obfuscation just happens to be one of my fav words, I dare not eschew it! So when Geoff Nunberg used the term “hapas legomenon” I was had. First, I had to figure out how to spell the dam thing, yes I know that I could have read the transcript, but what’s the fun in that!
Anyway it get’s better. So then I have to “Google” “hapas legomenon” and low and behold I find it had a full set of siblings, dis legomenon, tris legomenon, and tetrakis legomenon! A whole Legomenon clan, I almost started singing “Happy Happy Joy Joy!” Now here comes the fun part, hold on now, this is really bizarre, you can’t actually have a “”hapas legomenon” in a story like this becuase when you use it more than once, it’s no longer a “”hapas legomenon”! In this case it’s become, ready, a “tetrakis legomenon”, can you say OMG?
Here’s some more fun with words, mulilingual words. There is the tried and true Babelfish and more recently I’ve begun using Google’s Translate engine becuase there’s more languages and you can romanize the characters. I so much fun to start an email thread in English, translate to Greek, Latvian, Kurdish, Chinese, Filipino and back to English and try to see if you can make out the original message. Finally here’s an old fun spot, the Dialectizer at www. rinkworks.com. This tool has been on the web for oh geeeee almost decade, but it’s still a blast. You can translate entries and pages into Elmer Fudd, Redneck, Cockney Jive, Swedish Chef and more.
So untiw we next time stay safe, happy and witewate. As them siwwy watins used to say…Semper Ubi Sub Ubi!
Oh and a special thanks to my third grade teachers back in way back in 1961 in Warrenton, Oregon who taught me phonics, true visionaries!