18 February 2005

New words!

Here are two recent additions to my vocabulary. Pity I won't be using them around the office very often, but I'm sure they'll work their way into something. They're too good to let get away.

Metathesis: "Linguistics. Transposition within a word of letters, sounds, or syllables, as in the change from Old English brid to modern English bird or in the confusion of modren for modern." My own example is my habit of saying "foe-wer" instead of "four," something I picked up from my southern relatives. (Thanks to Constantine from Savoynet.)


Pleonastic. The use of more words than are required to express an idea; redundancy. Repetition of same sense in different words; " 'a true fact' and 'a free gift' are pleonastic expressions." (Thanks to Ira.)

Of course, "the use of more words than are required" pretty much sums up my approach to life. (Isn't that right, Brent?)


David Gorsline said...

Strictly speaking, pronouncing "four" to rhyme with "lower" rather than "pore" consists of uttering a tripthong instead of a dipthong. See the dipthong section of Paul Meier's talking IPA chart.

Anonymous said...

It might also qualify as epenthesis, or the insertion of a sound that isn't supposed to be there. Classic examples include the now-standard Thompson (from "Tom's son" - no P there) or the surname of famous linguist and anti-war activist Noam Chomsky, which is generally pronounced as if it were spelled "chompsky". Or "Warshington", as my dad pronounces the name of the capital of the United States.