What's in a Word?

Pondering word play and power in The Daily Sentinel

Page 119 of 127


Lady Who?

By Debra Dobbins
Friday, September 3, 2010

 “Antebellum” is an Americanism that means “before the war.” In the United States, it is used to note something before the Civil War. People visiting the South can still see a number of pre-Civil War residences, which are called antebellum homes. (The prefix “ante” means before.)

Wikipedia says that the three members of the pop/country band  “Lady Antebellum” had an interest in photographing large plantation homes in the South. In the course of this pastime they had an epiphany (a flash of insight) and decided that antebellum should be part of their band’s name.

The story below notes that guitarist Dave Haywood has asked his mom to the Country Music Association Awards, but she can’t go. (Dave, if you read this, call, text or tweet. I’m available.)


 

0 comments

A catty remark

By Debra Dobbins
Thursday, September 2, 2010

Kitty – a tender name for a cat, but also a pool of money for a specific purpose. In “Pearls Before Swine,” the rat uses the word “kitty” with no small amount of sarcasm.

Whoa, let’s hold our horses! A rat is controlling a cat? That’s downright unnatural and a doggone shame. Good thing this is just a cartoon.

Or, is it just a cartoon? Who really are the rat and cat? Does syndicated cartoonist Stephan Pastis know something we don’t?

OK, I’m over-reacting. I still remember, though, studying George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In it, pigs symbolize leaders who become dictators, dogs symbolize the police/military and Boxer, the horse, symbolizes the working class. First published in 1946, Orwell’s novella is a classic tale of how power corrupts.

Pastis writes on his blog (http://stephanpastis.wordpress.com/) that he’s read two plays by Russian author Anton Chekhov. Knowing that, I bet that he’s also read—and learned greatly from—Animal Farm. If you haven’t yet read this book, I strongly recommend it.
 

0 comments

Plein-air paradise

By Debra Dobbins
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

As the ad below notes, Montrose will celebrate Chipeta Day Saturday, Sept. 4. Chipeta and her husband, Chief Ouray, achieved historical recognition as peacemakers with the whites in the 1800s.

While all the day’s activities sound interesting, the first one caught my eye for its use of a French phrase, plein-air, which means “open air.”

According to Webster’s, plein-air art refers to “the manner of certain schools of French impressionist painting of the late 19th cent[ury], engaged mainly in representing observed effects of outdoor light and atmosphere.”

What better place than Western Colorado to try one’s hand at this art form? After all, from red rocks to rivers and lakes to mountain peaks, our stunning scenery certainly does impress anyone fortunate enough to observe it.

 


  

0 comments

Missis … now what?

By Debra Dobbins
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

 

Wilberforce Thornapple is right; Mississippi is hard to spell.

Remembering that the word has four i’s, four s’s and two p’s helps. So does breaking it down to its syllables: Mis/sis/sip/pi. This word is a good reminder that we often split up double letters (bub/ble, for example.)

Mississippi was borrowed from the Ojibwe word, misi-ziibi, which meant “great river,” according to Wikipedia. Maybe a lengthy name is just right for such a long, magnificent river. The Mississippi snakes its way from Minnesota down to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana for more than 2,300 miles.
 

0 comments

Salud/Salut!

By Debra Dobbins
Monday, August 30, 2010

Lendale White probably scored a point or two in the hearts of servicemen and women when he made a classic gesture after his touchdown in a Denver Broncos preseason game. (See photo below.) A salute is a common sign of respect among military personnel.

“Salute” comes from a Latin word that meant greeting or health. From it, we get “salutation,” the greeting of a letter (Dear Sir, for example). We also get “salutary,” meaning healthful, and two favorites of mine, "salut" (French) or "salud" (Spanish). They both mean “to your health,” a common phrase during a toast.

With a 34-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, it seems that the Broncos’ season is off to a healthy start. Now that’s worth a toast or two.

1 comments
Page 119 of 127




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