Thursday, 8 October 2015

Always mount a scratch monkey

Tales from the word-face

Today's subject line is the punchline of a joke (or maybe anecdote?) that I heard in the halcyon days of DEC (and there's no doubt a good reason for naming a particularly enjoyable  period after a kingfisher [for that is what a halcyon is]; but I don't have time for the resear... Heck, why not go mad?...
halcyon days
a period of peace and happiness; an idyllic time; also, a period of calm weather during the winter solstice
Word Origin
Greek Alkyone a legend of fourteen windless days

 ... says Dictionary . com, so it was the other way around I guess, the bird being named after such windless days – and in mid-winter, rather than those lazy crazy hazy days of summer.... But, hang on, the truth is rather more interesting:
halcyon (adj.) Look up halcyon at
"calm, quiet, peaceful," 1540s, in halcyon dayes (translating Latin alcyonei dies, Greek alkyonides hemerai), 14 days of calm weather at the winter solstice, when a mythical bird (also identified with the kingfisher) was said to breed in a nest floating on calm seas....
says Etymonline. Hmmm. For Further Study.... (as they used to say in the world of Nets-N-Comms standardization.
I don't remember the joke, but I do remember it involved disaster recovery. Which has been on my mind since my little android thingy fell and broke its screen. That is, I was involved, but I didn't want it to fall; or break its screen for that matter.

But I had a day-old backup of my WVGTbk2 work, so I've only lost *il* words starting with s or the beginning of t. Not too bad really, and it's now all in the hands of the insurers. But normal service has taken a bit of a hit.

The silver-lining is that it's  forced me to start to get to grips with Linux.

bye for now.

Oh, and just because someone on Radio 4 this morning, talking about poetry,  provoked it...
<rant likelihood_of_deliverance_from_this_evil="none">
It's geneAlogy for Gad's sake. If you speak American English, you can stand down, as the American English /ɑ/ of anthropology is not unlike American English /æ/ of genealogy – not the British English /æ/, which is a whole nother thing. Sometimes my British English ear tells me they're identical. [I'm sure they're not, but the process of acquiring British English involves us in learning not to hear phonemic differences in languages that don't interest us {as speakers, that is, not scholars}])

PS A clutch of clues

  • Look in the centre of Galway for a patch over the water. (8)    GALLOWAY
  • Low centre of gravity takes cutting of holly. (4)                      VILE
  • End of bow with misinformation about Resistance. (4)           FROG
  • Musician, heathen (obvs.) (8)                                               PAGANINI
  • Alteration embracing beginning and end of leptocephali,         ALLITERATION
    in the spirit of this PS. (12)
Update 2016.06.21.12:50 – Added answers in red and deleted footer (getting there, slowly)

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