What's in a Word?

Pondering word play and power in The Daily Sentinel

Page 107 of 132

Webster’s vs. Wiley’s Dictionary

By Debra Dobbins
Friday, January 14, 2011

Great try, Wiley’s, but I’ll stick with Webster’s.

Polly, a common name for a parrot, is spelled with two l’s, and gone has an e at the end.

Polygon is composed of two word parts: poly (many) and gon, which Webster’s defines as, “ a figure having (a specified number of) angles.” Webster’s says polygon is, “a closed plane figure, esp[ecially] one with more than four sides and angles.”

We can make other words using gon. Here are a few: pentagon (five-sided), hexagon (six-sided) and octagon (eight-sided).

We can also make other words using poly, such as polyhedron, a term for a “solid figure, esp[ecially] one with more than six plane surfaces,” according to Webster’s.

I counted nearly 100 words in Webster’s that begin with poly. Many of these words relate to math or science. Can you think of some?


A doggone shame

By Debra Dobbins
Thursday, January 13, 2011


 Add another minion to Grampa's list.



Alas and alack(ey)

By Debra Dobbins
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

 A what? Norman now needs to look up lackey.

Lackey, according to Webster’s, is “1 a male servant of low rank … 2 a follower who carries out another’s orders like a servant; toady.”

How many more synonyms for minion can Grampa and Gramma diabolically dream up? Will Norman remain in this pickle?

We’ll have to peruse “Pickles” tomorrow to find out.


An underhanded word

By Debra Dobbins
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nice try, Grampa. Norman, however, may not think that “underling” is cool if he checks out its meaning.

Webster’s defines it as “a person in a subordinate position; inferior; usually contemptuous or disparaging.”

Will Grampa continue to treat Norman as a dupe, someone easily fooled? We’ll have to check tomorrow’s Pickles for an answer.


Ah, ah, ah, Grampa!

By Debra Dobbins
Monday, January 10, 2011

Nelson looks young, but he shows how wise he already is by using the word “minion.”

Minion, according to Webster’s, is a “a favorite, esp[ecially] one who is a fawning, servile follower; term of contempt.” Webster’s second definition, less negative in tone, is “a subordinate deputy, official or the like.”

While Grampa may really want a candy bar, asking Nelson to sneak behind Gramma’s back is not the best moral example to set. In the cartoon’s last panel Nelson shows that he is uncomfortable with Grampa’s slight moral lapse. Good for Nelson.

I hope Gramma's in the kitchen. Grampa doesn’t need candy, and Nelson doesn’t need to be a minion.


Page 107 of 132


734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
Subscribe to print edition
Sign in to your account

© 2014 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy