Monday, April 30, 2007

Ribbiting

A "production valley" (more nonsense from the mouth of the MBA, don’t you know!) has ensured that I have some time to, finally, do sweet nothing. There are few things as enormously appealing, I assure you, as bumming around on the Internet and reading on company time, money, and air-conditioning.

Ergo, I’ve done a lot of reading, both books-wise and online in the past two weeks.

Of the pending books on my bedside table, I’m done with most of a large selection of Pablo Neruda and Photography. Of the books that I was gifted and those I couldn’t afford to buy, The Dalemark Quartet Volume I, Agent Z and the Penguin from Mars, and "Through the Looking Glass" - The Grade I Heritage of Mumbai have found their places on the bookshelf again.

I am currently ploughing through John Berger’s About Looking, Italo Calvinho's Numbers in the Dark, and P. J O'Rouke's Holidays in Hell. I'm also savouring The Girl from the Chartreuse. As Geets will attest, I've been reading this one for ever. However, now that I'm fully immersed in it, the book is impossible to read at anything but a languid pace.

Sigh… indeed, life is good these days. And though I should have finished all those draft posts, I’m still in the mood for some ribbiting. This language/book ribbit was particularly interesting.

For the week of April 9th to the 13th, the good people at AWAD did something very funny on the needless controversy over the use of the word "scrotum" in the 2007 Newbery award winner by Susan Patron.
Well, this week's words are an antidote for such thinking. These are words that may sound risque but aren't. And if you find you haven't received the newsletter a few days this week, it's probably your email filter working hard to protect you from getting corrupted by these words.
Of the five, these three seemed the most interesting and amusing. Enjoy!
  • testaceous (teh-STAY-shuhs); adjective
    1. Having a shell.
    2. Having the reddish brown color of bricks or baked clay.

    Derived from the Latin word testa meaning shell.

  • vomitorium (vom-i-TOR-ee-uhm); noun, plural vomitoria
    A passageway to the rows of seats in a theater.

    The word comes from the Latin word vomitorium, from vomere (to discharge).

  • cockshut (KOK-shut); noun
    Evening; twilight.

    This word comes “apparently from the time when poultry is shut in to rest.”
p.s. In case you’re interested in the scrotum issue, Susan Patron’s response is here . There is more here, here and here.

4 comments:

Nocturne said...

i have another word, and is not risque, though it may sound like one - linkwhore, and begging pardon for my Klatchian.

Parth said...

:-) I have given up on AWAD for a while. I think its time for me to start again. Thanks.

Plain Jane said...

Oye hoy, that sounds like an excuse to not finish reading it and hold on to it for another 6 mths! ;-)Btw me wants to borrow the Berger, if it's yours. Please temme it is! Please please pretty please!

Last week on Word-a-day was maha-fun na with those crazy words!! :-):-)

Extempore said...

@Nocturne and Parth: ;-)

@Geets: Shall bring the Berger along with the Peju when I come over next. That should in a couple of weeks time!