Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Wise Up / Build Your Thighs Up

Because the immediately previous post is a long bastard, I figured I'd post something that I could actually get to the bottom of. A website called "A Collection of Word Oddities and Trivia" recently engulfed me. Emerging from it all sticky and dazed, I present two bits I thought were cool.

First off, English has a pair of homonyms that share no etymological connection but refer to surprisingly similar objects: "psi" and "sai." The former, the twenty-third letter of the Greek alphabet, is probably most familiar as a variable representing wavefunction in quantum mechanics. It looks like this:

Greek_letter_psi

A little pitchfork-shaped object. Or a small trident. Or something.

The latter is a Japanese word that refers to the weapon Raphael had in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It looks basically like the thing above, only with sharper edges. I find this fascinating.

sai-almost-done

The second thing I think bears repeating is a small examination on the notion that no word rhymes with "orange." The author here thinks that the accuracy of that statement depends entirely on how you pronounce the word. According to him, all of the following could potentially rhyme with "orange," most of them providing that you put more emphasis on the last syllable than Americans probably would.
  • Blorenge (a hill in Wales)
  • sporange (only if mispronounced, he notes)
  • range, Stonehenge and derange (if pronounced by a native of Singapore)
  • citrange (which, it turns out, is a lot like an orange)
  • Solange (as in the given name, as in Beyonce's little sister)
And now I'm tired.

1 comment:

  1. I still maintain that "porridge" kind of rhymes. It's the "d" that throws it a little, but I think it's forgivable in light of the impossibile letter arrangments in "orange."

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