Words, Words, Words… 1

Well reading Youtube comments on a music video, I came across this amusing mistake: “Notice the word ‘post’ [adjective form] meaning before.”[1]. This person was in a “comment war” with some other Youtube users and this post was particularly irate. However, it is amusing that anyone would believe that the word post means “before.”  The OED lists four distant senses of this word, the fourth of these being: “Subsequent to; after: American poetry post the 1950s hasn’t had the same impact.” [2]. This was clearly the definition the commentator was looking for, as the other three are: a long wood or mental piece standing upright; the mail service (as in ‘You git, you said you put it in the post yesterday’); and a job. I fail to see why word abuse is so rampant in a world were you can look up the meaning of a word instantly. Now by word abuse I do not mean people using neologisms, acronyms, or slang, that is natural evolution of language. I mean defining words in a way not supported, even in slang!  “How often misused words generate misleading thoughts.” – Herbert Spencer [2].

Post (as in post modern): means after not before: unless you write your p.s. (post script) before the body of your writing this one should be easy to remember.

Strange, Rare, and Foreign Words:

Antidisestablishmentarianism – opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England.

Zenzizenzizenzic: a number raised to the eight power.

die Gretchenfrage (German): A question that gets to the core of a subject.

Sentence: Prof. Henry, a math teach and a believer in antidisestablishmentarianism, was ask die Gretchenfrage by the student, ‘Why must we take zenzizenzizenzic two just to undo it five steps later?’

[1] Random Youtube user, youtube.com

[2] Oxford English Dictionary online, oxforddictionaries.com

 

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