Sunday, 24 February 2008

Mixed Species Metaphors

For example, there are one or two flies in my house. I don't know where they came from, but it is February, and cold, so the flies are sluggish. Sluggish flies! (Now I'm imagining slugs with wings, so I have to pause for a brief memory wipe.)

OK, I'm better now.

Take dogs: dogs frequently wear sheepish expressions after doing something forbidden but overwhelmingly tempting, like eating the entire birthday cake in three gulps, candles and all, while mommy is off fetching the matches.

If you prefer (I do), take cats. My boy cat, now eleven years old, tries to ravish my girl cat, his sister, at least twice a day. His ravenous glare betrays his wolfish lust as he doggedly pursues poor Kitty Janeway all through the house. Since he has soft fleecy fur and a tendency to emit loud bleats when hungry I often call him a wolf in sheep's clothing. A cat-wolf in sheep's clothing, you see - and weren't there a dog and a raven in there as well?

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Fear of aconyms: acronuphobia

I need a word designating "an abnormal dread of acronyms". "Acrophobia" would have done, but of course that's already taken. Since the Greek root is the same akron plus onuma (name), I thought "acronophobia" might be an acceptable coinage. To my surprise, a web search found this word... but only because of a couple of people who could not spell "arachnophobia". I didn't want to coin a word that already existed on the web as a spelling mistake, and decided that in any case "acronuphobia" would be more correct.

I don't suffer from acronuphobia myself. I'm just the type who might, but gradually increased exposure under controlled conditions has cured me. I'm even developing a habit of making up my own acronyms for my grocery shopping lists:

KBs (Kidney Beans)
BEBs (Black-Eyed Beans)
NBBs (Naked Baked Beans - actually covered in sauce)
HBs (Hash Browns)
RW (Red Wine)
WW (White Wine)
WWV (White Wine Vinegar)
GPs (Green Peppers)
RPs (Red Peppers)
PTs (Plum Tomatoes)

One item I write out in full every week for Paddy's benefit is "NO BEER". He ignores it.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Can you spell Onomatopoeia?

Forget French pop music. Have you ever heard anything like Kevin Kirk and Onomatopoeia? Their music is exuberant, tuneful, fast, driving - it's jazz, I suppose, but not as I know it. I have the sample from the website playing now, rather loudly, in one of my other browsers while I type this - over twenty minutes of it is on offer.
Hat tip: Greg Perkins at Noodlefood (Greg himself is a member of the band).