Friday, 11 September 2015

Brief Tale from the Word-Face

Last year (two years ago – talk about time's wingéd chariot...) I wrote this:
I was in Truro at the end of my choir's short tour of the West Country, of which more anon. But before I go I can't resist an etymological reflection induced by my visit to the Mayflower Exhibition
Plymouth was noted for being a Roundhead stronghold during the English Civil War – and that name for the Puritans' soldiers, was coined with reference to their headgear (I prefer the soldiers' helmet theory to the pudding-basin haircut theory expounded – very briefly – here). 
The Roundhead soldiers were by no means the first fighting force to be given a nickname based on what their heads looked like. When Roman soldiers occupied Gaul the locals thought that their helmets looked like cooking pots (Vulgar Latin TESTA(M)). Among all the Romance-language names for head (capo, cabo, cabeza, cabeça ...) where does the French tête come from? Well, here's a hint; the circumflex in French is often a vestige of an s.
I left the conclusion as an exercise for the reader (which I'm still doing).

I've included that snippet for two  reasons:
  1. It's interesting
  2. It's context reminds me of work I did on  WVGTbook. I was about halfway through the process when I wrote it.
The second of these has spurred me into renewed efforts on the next in the series, which led to this:

Tale from the word-face

The picture is fairly self explanatory, and depends (as usual) on my dysdactylographical ability. I was entering the word depilatory into a spreadsheet:

I have difficulty in imagining what CD epilepsy might be, but it sounds very last century. Haven't they heard of streaming?

That's all for now. The book (and garden) awaits (AWAIT), and the weekend will be unproductive (TCB performance on Saturday and birthday lunch on Sunday (giving poignancy to the question

Will you still feed me?

which may give you an age-related clue.)
<apropos subject="clue">
Actual place to make alternative distribution arrangements. (10)


Mammon When Vowels Get Together V5.2: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs. Now complete (that is, it covers all vowel pairs –  but there's still stuff to be done with it; an index, perhaps...?)

And here it is: Digraphs and Diphthongs . The (partial) index has an entry for each e cvowel pair that can represent each monophthong phoneme. For example AE, EA and EE are by far the most common pairs of vowels used to represent the /i:/ phoneme, but there are eight other possibilities. The index uses colour to give an idea of how common a spelling is, ranging from bright red to represent the most common to pale olive green to represent the least common.

I'm thinking about doing a native iBook version in due course, but for now Mac users can use Kindle's own (free) simulator.

Also available at Amazon: When Vowels Get Together: The paperback.

And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this

Freebies (Teaching resources:  
Well over 49,300 views  and nearly 9,000 downloads to date**. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with nearly 2,700 views and nearly 1,100 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.

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