(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘obsolete words

“If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent”*…

Resistentialism: The seemingly spiteful behavior shown by inanimate objects

Spermologer: A picker-up of trivia, of current news, a gossip monger, what we would today call a columnist

In keeping with yesterday’s lexicological theme, These (and 16 other) “Obsolete Words That Never Should Have Gone Out of Style.”  See also: the book, The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten by Jeffrey Kacirk, and the blog, Obsolete Word of The Day.

[TotH to EWW]

*If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the spoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in the darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the center of the silent Word.

Oh my people, what have I done unto thee.

Where shall the word be found, where shall the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence”

― from “Ash Wednesday,” T.S. Eliot


As we wax nostalgic, we might send thoughtfully-worded birthday greetings to Pete Hamill; he was born on this date in 1935.  A lover of comic books and art, Hamill went to art school and became a graphic artist after a period of drifting and living in Mexico. In 1960, he landed a job at the New York Post, which turned into a writing job and a regular, widely-read column. He subsequently wrote (and edited) for the New York Daily News, the Village Voice, and New York Newsday, and contributed articles to magazines like New YorkThe New YorkerEsquirePlayboy, and Rolling Stone.  He covered wars, national issues of race and class, and sports (he even wrote the liner notes for Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks); but his central theme was life in “The City.”  His memoir A Drinking Life (1995) describes his lifelong relationships with both alcohol and Brooklyn; in addition to that and to his non-fiction works and journalism collections, Hamill has written 10 novels and two books of short stories.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 24, 2013 at 1:01 am

Deliciate in the ludibrious…


From MatadorAbroad, a heart-felt plea: “20 Obsolete English Words that Should Make a Comeback.”

Read it and kench!

As we scribble in the margins of our dictionaries, we might recall that it was on this date in 1866 that the first U.S. patent for a yoyo was issued to James L. Haven and Charles Hittrick.  Though the device is called a “Whirligig” or a “Bandalore” in the patent form, it had the unmistakable “two disks coupled together at their centers by means of a clutch” design.  (It was also the first time rim-weighting to maintain momentum was mentioned in a patent: “it will be observed that the marginal swell … exercises the function of a flywheel.”)

Messrs. Haven and Hettrick mass-produced yoyos over a half century… during which time, in a 1916 Scientific American Supplement article, the name “yoyo” was first used in the U.S. in print.  the name “yoyo” was popularized in America starting in 1928 by Pedro Flores, who borrowed it from the Philippines (where it had been borrows from China, where the toy has ancient roots) for the products of his Yo-yo Manufacturing Company.