From Wordplay

An exploration of words and language

Well-Turned Phrases

Regarding apathy, I have no opinion. Remember you’re unique, just like everybody else. Give me ambiguity or give me something else. Indecision is the key to flexibility. Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Every morning is the dawn of a new error. If all is not lost, where is it? Ignorance is no excuse. It’s the real thing. I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific. I plead contemporary insanity. Committee: a body that keeps minutes and wastes hours. Yawn: an honest opinion openly expressed. Education is what you have…

Text Message Abbreviations

There are few who will argue against the fact that modern language has degenerated with the advance of on-line communications – particularly our use of strings of abbreviations when we send text messages. For your reference to this new world of abbreviations, we have compiled some of the most commonly used: AFK – away from the keyboard ASL? – Age? Sex? Location? B4 – before BAK – back at the keyboard BBL – be back later BCNU – be seeing you BRB – be right back BTW – by the way FAQs – frequently asked questions IMHO – in my…

Some Scientific Equations You May Not Be Familiar With

Ratio of an igloo’s circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi   2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won ton   1 millionth of a mouthwash = 1 microscope   Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = 1 bananosecon   Weight an evangelist carries with God = 1 billigram   Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = Knotfurlong   16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Sterling   Half of a large intestine = 1 semicolon   1,000,000 aches = 1 megahurtz   Basic unit of laryngitis…

The Five Oldest Words

Of all languages, throughout the ages, around the globe, there are five words that are today recognized as “the oldest.” University of Reading evolutionary biologist Mark Pagel studies have concluded the oldest words as: I Who Two Three Five These words are the most often used in daily speech – their forms or sounds date back over 10,000 years. Some of the other oldest words in mankind’s communicative history are: We Thou Name Tongue What How Where Four This extraordinary work was first reported in a 2009 issue of National Geographic, but detailed reports about Professor Pagel’s study are found…

Classic tongue-in-cheek puns

A jumper cable walks into a bar. The barman says “I’ll serve you, but don’t start anything.” A sandwich walks into a bar. The barman says, “Sorry we don’t serve food in here.” A dyslexic man walks into a bra. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says : “A beer please, and one for the road.” Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. One says, “I’ve lost my electron.” The other says, “Are you sure?” The first replies, “Yes, I’m positive…” I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day,…

A lesson in punctuation

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Our Redundant Redundancies

Have you notice we repeatedly use common figures of speech that are obvious redundancies?  Here are a few we’ve recorded at work in the last few weeks. an added bonus all inclusive basic fundamentals a brief moment it’s boiling hot let’s circle around classic tradition close proximity duplicate copy end result false illusion they’re immortalized forever live audience mental thought my personal opinion new discovery original founder it’s a temporary reprieve true fact unique, one-in-a-lifetime opportunity Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Monday Morning Definitions

COMPROMISE: The art of dividing A cake in such a way that Everybody believes He got the biggest piece CONFERENCE: The confusion of one man Multiplied by the Number present CONFERENCE ROOM: A place where everybody talks, Nobody listens OFFICE: A place Where you can relax After your strenuous Home life SMILE: A curve That can set A lot of things straight! And everybody disagrees later on ECSTASY: A feeling when you feel You are going to feel A feeling You have never felt before CLASSIC: A book Which people praise, But never read MARRIAGE: It’s an agreement Wherein A…

10 Spoonerisms, Oxymorons, & Palindromes

Here are three lists of special kinds of words…. a diversion for our wordsmith followers. Spoonerisms are slips of the tongue by transposing the sounds of words, usually by accident. (The term “spoonerism” is derived from W.A. Spooner (1844 – 1930), an English clergyman noted for such slips.) a lack of pieces – a pack of lies tips of the slung – slips of the tongue pleating and humming – heating and plumbing chilled grease – grilled cheese sparking pace – parking space chewing the doors – doing the chores clappy as a ham – happy as a clam wave…

Def’n on the origins of popular sayings

HOT OFF THE PRESS As the paper goes through the rotary printing press friction causes it to heat up. Therefore, if you grab the paper right off the press it is hot. The expression means to get immediate information. A SHOT OF WHISKEY In the old west a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents, so did a glass of whiskey. If a cowhand was low on cash he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a “shot” of whiskey. THE WHOLE NINE YARDS American fighter planes in WW2 had…