What's in a Word?

Pondering word play and power in The Daily Sentinel

Page 120 of 132


A word to savor

By Debra Dobbins
Friday, October 8, 2010

I think words are delicious. Not literally, of course, but delicious as in delightful. Therefore, I savored (enjoyed with appreciation) the headline above.

According to Webster’s, the word “savory” specifically means “pleasing to the taste or smell; appetizing.”  Webster’s also gives a more general definition of “pleasant, agreeable, attractive, etc.”

When “savory” comes before “vampire,” well, all you fans of horror flicks can fill in the rest….

The full story is in today’s Out & About, appearing both in our print edition and e-edition.


 

0 comments

Campaign pain

By Debra Dobbins
Thursday, October 7, 2010

Below, Jeff Parker, a cartoonist for Florida Today, comments on the effectiveness of campaign attack ads.

Many folks would argue that such ads and fiction are both untrue. These ads are unlikely to go away, though. The strategy of “going negative” seems entrenched in the war of words that candidates wage to obtain votes.

It is not a big surprise, then, to read that “campaign” comes from the French word campagne, meaning “open country suited to military maneuvers,” according to Webster’s. Webster’s also notes that the word’s meaning has been broadened to refer to a “military expedition.”

In under a month, the war will mercifully end—for this election season, anyway. With luck, the ultimate victors will be voters who have managed to separate facts from fiction before filling out their ballots.


 

0 comments

Thank Popeye for the jeep

By Debra Dobbins
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The jeep has come a long way since its introduction in 1941. Originally used by the U.S. military, the jeep was an open-air, boxy vehicle with four-wheel-drive that was designed for use over rugged terrain.

If you watch reruns of MASH, you can imagine what the original jeep must have looked like. These days, though, a jeep often comes with a roof, air conditioning, CD player and a host of other amenities (attractive qualities) that G.I.’s in World War II might have found unimaginable. (G.I. stands for General Issue.)

“It was created as a word from the abbreviation G.P. for General Purpose,” Sol Steinmetz writes in There’s a Word for It. Steinmetz adds that the spelling of jeep “is said to have been inspired by the name of ‘Eugene the Jeep,’ a cartoon character … introduced in 1936 in the comic strip ‘Popeye the Sailor’ by cartoonist E.C. Segar.”

For more on the whimsical character of Eugene the Jeep, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_the_Jeep.


 

0 comments

Was Bradbury prescient?

By Debra Dobbins
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

To help you better understand today’s “Pearls Before Swine,” here are three definitions:

Hedonistic – devoted to pursuit of pleasure; self-indulgent

Anti-intellectual – opposed to the pursuit of advanced knowledge

Science fiction – futuristic fiction based on innovations in science and/or technology

Famous “sci fi” writers include Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, as well as:

Isaac Asimov – “Foundation” series
Orson Scott Card – “Ender’s Game” series
Robert Heinlein - Stranger in a Strange Land
Douglas Adams – “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series
Frank Herbert – “Dune” series
Arthur C. Clarke - 2001: A Space Odyssey
H.G. Wells – The Time Machine

Was Bradbury prescient? (Prescient means knowing something before it happens.) Are we as a society devoting more time to self-indulgence and less time to improving our minds through reading and other academic pursuits? Is there a serious message within this funny comic strip?

Is my bias showing? Probably!
 

0 comments

Try and try again

By Debra Dobbins
Monday, October 4, 2010

I found Zoe, well, a bit trying in today’s Baby Blues (one of The Daily Sentinel’s new comics).

Zoe needs to take a time-out and reflect on writers’ workshop rules. One rule is someone who reads another’s essay always offers positive comments on some aspect of the essay and helpful suggestions on how to improve it.

An essay can always be improved, and, contrary to what Zoe thinks, all writers can do better.

A great approach to improving an essay is to judge it according to these six traits: ideas, sentence fluency, organization, conventions, word choice and voice.

I wish I had learned about the six traits of writing much, much earlier, because they really do help to polish up essays. Try googling “six traits” or ask your teacher for more information on them.

The word “essay,” by the way, is similar to a French word meaning “to try.” When we write essays, we try to put our thoughts down well enough so that others may easily read them and understand them. Often we have to try and try again. In other words, we have to revise our writing, but the process is well worth it. Good writing reflects good thinking, and in this day and age we need all the good thinking we can get.

For the other three new comic strips, see The Daily Sentinel’s print edition or e-edition.

0 comments
Page 120 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