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Good vocabularies run amuck: What are your favorite words?
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Aug 24th 2012

Her name is...well, that's appropriate.

Her name kind of sounds like "Sabbath." But it means, like a wild, violent, mean person. Like a barbarian. Or ferocious, fierce, and brutal. Or to attack ferociously and maul.

Aug 24th 2012

Sounds kind of like "ravage." Like, really freakin' close to it.

Aug 24th 2012

This heraldry discussion is really interesting to me, so I have no idea why I have nothing to say about it.

Aug 24th 2012

Actually, I do have something to say. Of course noble families wanted to pass down some sort of family history, to preserve their name and customs, and that's why we have pedigrees and heraldry and family trees. The poor people might WANT to do that, but had no means, especially since most of them could not write. Also, many families were constantly displaced by war or famine, and moved around, so you might not even know who your parents are, much less any further back. I'm guessing if you lived in a stable area, you might know stories about your great grandparents and that's it. Family history for poor families in the pre-literate era were just wiped out after 100 years...nothing at all was known about it. But you'd think some family would have some memory that was passed down, say, 1000 years or so. You'd think, for example, that all the kids of some Roman emperor would pass that information down. So even after 1000 years, when your descendents are poor serfs, you would think that they would still know that their great-great-great X10 grandfather was Emperor Augustus or something like that.

Aug 24th 2012

The persistence of passed-down memories fascinates me. I heard stories from my grandparents about things that happened in the family in the late 1800's and I feel like I preserve those times by remembering the stories and passing them along.

The last time one of your ancestors killed a wooly mammoth, which was probably 10,000 years ago, was probably a big deal. In the next few generations, as they realized that there were no more of these big creatures to kill, they would have told stories about the time grandpa killed this huge beast with giant tusks. They probably would still have the mammoth pelts and bones around to help tell the tale. So...at what point did they stop telling this story? At some point, was there a violent disruption in the family and all the old stories were lost? Or did someone say "the kids aren't interested in hearing an old story about a giant beast that they don't even think was real. They are too busy with their newfangled agriculture and wheels."

Aug 24th 2012

Actually, I do have something to say.

I knew you had it in you. :-)

Or did someone say "the kids aren't interested in hearing an old story about a giant beast that they don't even think was real. They are too busy with their newfangled agriculture and wheels."

I think it's this. I think it had a little to do with a Cave-Grandma who wouldn't share information unless the questions were asked in exactly the right phrasing.

I know a lot more about my dad's family, because for no other reason than they talk about what happened. They don't care if you know or don't know or if you even care. If something important happened, you'll know about it. If you don't remember it the next time it comes up, it's your fault.

On the other side? It's...not that way. I had an ancestor murdered by her husband in the early 1900s. I had a great-granddad who was the mayor of a famously odd-named town in the Midwest who was hanged in effigy in the '60s. (He raised taxes to pave the roads and it made people crazy.) These are awesome stories that I've only recently heard. And I'm 26.

But my Granddad tells me lots of stories. Lame ones, even. I know where my great-uncles killed a lot of ducks. ("You know, where they fished all the time?") I know about this haunting light they saw once. I know my second-great-grandparents married super young, had a kid, split up for a while, I guess when she was pregnant?, then got back together when their twins were born and had a whole bunch more kids. I think that's supposed to be a secret. But I totally know all about it. And really, anyone who would care or be offended is long gone.

I'm just saying, sometimes it's hard to get to the stories.

Aug 24th 2012

We have a great story from 1901. My great-great-grandmother, who emigrated from Ireland to escape the Potato Famine in 1850, was dying from liver disease (NOT from drinking, we are repeatedly told!). Two of her daughters were watching over her, and they were in the next room talking, when suddenly they heard what they called "angel music". This was before radios or any other kind of player they could have had. They went rushing into the room, and the music faded, and their mother was dead.

That was on my mom's side. On my dad's side, we have lots of stories of our ancestor who came from Germany, because he was quite a character, and my grandpa (his grandson) is a great storyteller.

Aug 24th 2012

I'm just saying, sometimes it's hard to get to the stories.

I know. It's like, you'll trace your family tree to Benjamin Franklin, and you'll run over to tell your grandma, and she'll say "yeah, I know...I still have the key he used when he discovered electricity on that kite", and you'll say "WHY DIDN'T YOU EVER TELL ME THIS?!?" and she'll say "Well you never asked..."

Aug 24th 2012

Exactly.

You do know that liver disease can be caused by drinking, right? And so could be "hearing angel music"? Are you drunk right now, Jinx?

Aug 24th 2012

From what I hear, the women in that family were very pious and would never dream of drinking alcohol. The men, however...

Aug 24th 2012

were Irish. I gotcha.

Aug 24th 2012

Yesh.

Aug 24th 2012

Two of her daughters were watching over her, and they were in the next room talking, when suddenly they heard what they called "angel music". This was before radios or any other kind of player they could have had. They went rushing into the room, and the music faded, and their mother was dead.

And behold the Angels cometh down from heaven, and they shalt be nameth Guinness, and they shalt make much music.

Aug 24th 2012

So you're thinking some teenager was walking by the window with a Victrola, and wasn't using his earbuds??

Aug 24th 2012

There were troublemakers in the past, too, Jinx.

That is a really strange story, though.

Aug 24th 2012

I had a great-granddad who was the mayor of a famously odd-named town in the Midwest

Oconomowoc?

Aug 24th 2012

No, it's an English word. It's the town my mom's from. It's strange and weird. Thesaurus.com says it means abnormal, atypical, bizarre, deviant, different, flaky, mental, nonstandard, odd, off-base, off-color, out of line, psycho, strange, unusual, weird.

Oh, crap. I meant to type "Missouri." It always shows up on the Strange Place Names lists.

Dec 20th 2012

Ignis fatuus

Dec 20th 2012

I don't think there's any reason to resort to name-calling.

Dec 20th 2012

globular

Jun 11th 2013

I just saw on some website, somebody called someone else "the bomb.com."

Way to update that, Guy.

Jun 11th 2013

shucked

Jun 12th 2013

I was typing an email and thought I had overused the word sample. I thought I should change one instance to "example." I tried to and ended up with "sexmple."

I'm glad I caught that.

Jun 27th 2013

menarche

May 14th 2014

Coalesced

Oct 20th 2014

Akimbo.

Apr 8th 2016

7 pages and 6 years later....

Lawyers have attorgasms.

Apr 17th 2016

Bulls have matadorgasms.

May 13th 2017

subtleties

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