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The word “America” and it’s meaning
Posted: 24 April 2014 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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languagehat: it takes one to know one. Honest, serious intellectuals like yourself and others at wordorigins.org, are more easily misled, because trollery is so alien to your nature.  Someone like your servant, on the other hand, who was born to be a troll, can smell another from a long way off (I was partially converted to humanity, by exposure to this forum. You can almost trust me).

Svinyard118, donkeyhotay: ANY ass can be persuaded to yield a harvest of words-in-turds to a skillful etymo-proctologist.  You’d be amazed at the piles of stuff some silly asses come up with.

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Posted: 24 April 2014 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Sorry, can’t get Donne’s lines out of my head, every time I come to this thread they surface (well, the 3rd one does, I added the rest for context). They’re from Elegy 20, To His Mistress

Licence my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.
O, my America, my Newfoundland,
My kingdom, safest when with one man mann’d,
My mine of precious stones, my empery ;
How am I blest in thus discovering thee !
To enter in these bonds, is to be free ;
Then, where my hand is set, my soul shall be.
Full nakedness !  All joys are due to thee ;
As souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be
To taste whole joys.

God, but that man could write! Although when he was Dean of St Pauls I’m not sure he would have welcomed being reminded of his early verse.

Right, having got that out of my head may I commend a few lines of verse to you, Agondontor? These are from To A Louse by Rabbie Burns (please believe, I am not aiming the title at you).

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:

In other words you need to develop the faculty of self-criticism. You need to be the harshest critic of your own theories and test them rigorously before springing them on others. This particular one would not have survived such scrutiny.

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Posted: 24 April 2014 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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I had an art professor who said something once that has always stayed with me… “Never fall in love with your own art. You’ll never get any better, if you do.”

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Posted: 24 April 2014 09:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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happydog - 24 April 2014 09:44 AM
ENRI is an initialism - here’s the definition of an initialism.

If it’s pronounced as a word it would be an acronym.

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Posted: 24 April 2014 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Thanks, aldi (and JD, of course), for a very beautiful piece of poetry. I rarely read verse, beyond Count Palmyro Vicarion’s anthologies.  Clearly, there’s more to Puritans than meets the eye --- one doesn’t tend to associate them with erotic poetry.

Why “Elegy”, though? The word doesn’t seem to fit the occasion.

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Posted: 25 April 2014 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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lionello - 24 April 2014 11:49 PM

Thanks, aldi (and JD, of course), for a very beautiful piece of poetry. I rarely read verse, beyond Count Palmyro Vicarion’s anthologies.  Clearly, there’s more to Puritans than meets the eye --- one doesn’t tend to associate them with erotic poetry.

Why “Elegy”, though? The word doesn’t seem to fit the occasion.

Elegy isn’t being used here in OED sense 1, a mournful poem, but as often in English poetry in sense 2

2 Vaguely used in wider sense, app. originally including all the species of poetry for which Greek and Latin poets adopted the elegiac metre.

And Donne wasn’t a Puritan. As Dean of St Pauls he was one of the big guns of the mainstream Church of England and diametrically opposed to the Puritan movement.

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Posted: 25 April 2014 03:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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And was brought up a Catholic, if I remember rightly?

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Posted: 25 April 2014 06:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Elegy isn’t being used here in OED sense 1, a mournful poem, but as often in English poetry in sense 2

2 Vaguely used in wider sense, app. originally including all the species of poetry for which Greek and Latin poets adopted the elegiac metre.

And Donne wasn’t a Puritan. As Dean of St Pauls he was one of the big guns of the mainstream Church of England and diametrically opposed to the Puritan movement.

Excuse my ignorance (withdraws, hanging head, resolving to stick more closely to Count Palmyro V. , and safe ground, from now on)

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Posted: 25 April 2014 07:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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BTW, eloquy should totally be a word.

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Posted: 25 April 2014 02:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Logophile - 24 April 2014 09:47 PM

If it’s pronounced as a word it would be an acronym.

Doesn’t the fact that it is always written in all capital letters automatically make it initialism?

[ Edited: 25 April 2014 02:50 PM by happydog ]
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Posted: 25 April 2014 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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I believe the technical definition is that it’s an acronym if you pronounce it like a word.  But then an acronym might be a subset of initialisms.  Practically they are all acronyms. at least in common usage.

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Posted: 25 April 2014 09:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Faldage - 25 April 2014 05:54 PM
I believe the technical definition is that it’s an acronym if you pronounce it like a word.  But then an acronym might be a subset of initialisms.  Practically they are all acronyms. at least in common usage.

Yes, that’s true, and some are interchangeable, for example: some people call the SAT, college-entrance exam, an S-A-T but some say it like sat.

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Posted: 25 April 2014 10:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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So one man’s initialism is another man’s acronym. Either way, America ain’t one of them and that’s the point, eh?

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Posted: 25 April 2014 10:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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americaisthmus.png

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Posted: 26 April 2014 12:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Syntinen Laulu - 25 April 2014 03:08 AM

And was brought up a Catholic, if I remember rightly?

Indeed he was and didn’t convert to Protestantism until a young man (although there is no evidence that he was ever a zealous Roman Catholic, as his immediate family undoubtedly were.) I’ve always loved Donne’s work with a passion, not just the verse but the wondrous prose. The Meditations and the Sermons, for instance, can take your breath away with their power and beauty.

And, Lionello, the breadth and depth of your knowledge have often sent me skulking away to look something up before I embarrass myself. That’s the joy of this board, we all learn from each other. :)

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