What's in a Word?

Pondering word play and power in The Daily Sentinel

Page 114 of 132


Where’s the action (verb)?

By Debra Dobbins
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Today’s front page was replete (see entry of Nov. 8) with action verbs and direct objects in various headlines.

The headline above could also work as a complete sentence. Fruita is the subject, rejects is the action verb and ban is the direct object. OK, OK, since you are anxious to know, smoking is used as an adjective and the prepositional phrase “in city parks” contains a preposition, adjective and noun.

See if you can spot examples of the structure of “subject-action verb-direct object” in the other headlines on the front page. Check tomorrow’s blog for the answers.


 

0 comments

A building or a city?

By Debra Dobbins
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A capitol is a building, and a capital is a “city where the seat of government is located,” according to the Associated Press Stylebook. Remembering these sentences may help you keep the two spellings straight:

Montgomery is the capital of Alabama. The city’s first capitol was built in 1847.

Our state capital is, of course, Denver. The Colorado Capitol, not far from the 16th Street Mall, is a beautiful building that is always worth a visit.

The gold-plated dome of the Colorado Capitol symbolizes our state’s “Gold Rush” days.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 

0 comments

A game or a peril?

By Debra Dobbins
Monday, November 15, 2010

Jeopardy’s just a game, right? Or does it mean great danger or peril? Actually, it has meant both since it came into English in the 14th century.

According to www.word-origins.com, the word comes from two Old French words: jeu and parti.

Here’s more of the word's history from the same source: “The semantic focus of jeopardy has changed subtly over the centuries. Originally it meant ‘even chance’, but gambling being the risky business it is, and human nature having a strong streak of pessimism, attention was soon focussed (sic) on the ‘chanciness’ rather than the ‘evenness’, and by the late 14th century jeopardy was being used in its modern sense ‘risk of loss or harm, danger’. The word originated in the Old French expression jeu parti, literally ‘divided play’, hence ‘even chance’. It was to begin with a term in chess and similar board games.”

http://www.word-origins.com/definition/jeopardy.html

Two chess players try to put each other into jeopardy.
 

0 comments

An allusion to a brave Coloradan

By Debra Dobbins
Friday, November 12, 2010

Those who have read Aron Ralston’s book or heard of the movie, “127 Hours,” will understand the allusion that this editorial cartoon makes. The cartoon is by Jerry Holbert of the Boston Herald.

In 2003 Ralston was hiking alone in Blue John Canyon near Moab, Utah. Suddenly a boulder pinned him against one of the canyon’s walls. He freed himself by cutting off his right forearm with a dull knife.

After his self-amputation Ralston found the courage and stamina to hike to safety (even rappelling a 60-foot cliff at one point). Ralston, a Colorado citizen, wrote about his ordeal in Between a Rock and Hard Place.

His book is now the basis of the movie “127 Hours,” starring James Franco.

Holbert’s cartoon combines the allusion to Ralston’s book with the saying, “It’ll cost you an arm and a leg.” Holbert’s point? U.S. citizens will have to endure no small amount of pain to bring down the national deficit, which is fast approaching $14 trillion.
 

0 comments

See you around

By Debra Dobbins
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Peripheral vision is the vision that we have on the sides of our heads. If someone says, “I saw you out of the corner of my eye,” that person has used peripheral vision.

“Peri” is a Greek word part that means around. It is included in words such as perimeter (“meter” means measure) and periscope (“scope” means look).

The illustration below shows two simple periscopes. To learn how to make one out of milk cartons and pocket mirrors, go to http://www.exploratorium.edu/science_explorer/periscope.html.

BTW, grandparents, parents and teachers all have excellent peripheral vision. It comes with the job.

Principle of the periscope. The periscope on the left uses mirrors at location "a" whereas the right uses prisms at "b". The observer is "c".

Caption and illustration courtesy of Wikipedia

 

Answers for yesterday's question on musicians in an orchestra:

pianist, cellist, tympanist, clarinetist, flutist, trombonist,
cellist, bassist, bassoonist, contrabassoonist, oboist, harpist
 


 

0 comments
Page 114 of 132




TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Sign in to your account
Information

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