Once again I need to exhaust my stack of scribbled notes. The notes are in my head and contain words and phrases that I tell myself I need to write down. I hope I don’t have any paper clippings.
I reiterate the need to omit the word different many, many sentences. Some authors seem to forget the definitions of different. Merriam-Webster offers different, dissimilar, distinct, varied, one more.
If you have three flavors, you don’t have to say you have three. different flavors. Three flavors mean three. It could mean vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. It will never, ever mean two vanilla and one chocolate. (Don’t tell me about the three flavors of vanilla in Tillamook ice cream: old-fashioned vanilla, vanilla bean, and French vanilla. You know what I’m saying.)
Why, then, do I find these curious examples in the Washington Post?
“Guests can customize the tour based on the experience of people with four different types of disabilities: physical, sensory, cognitive and height.”
“The ones I’ve tried – ground beef and spinach, tasty roasted sweet potatoes with four different cheeses – encourage further exploration.”
“These national titles were in six different sports (women’s light rowing, men’s cross country, men’s hockey, women’s hockey, men’s indoor track, men’s rowing).”
“Anthony Berkeley offers six different solutions to the same crime.”
“There have been seven different winners in seven races this season …”
“The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is assembled in Washington State and South Carolina from parts produced in at least nine different countries.”
Word different should not be eliminated from the tongue. But it is often used when it is not needed. Here are a few examples from The Post where the word is appropriate.
“Dak Prescott showed how the NFL contract rules are different for quarterbacks.”
“We had not yet entered the National Forest – our final destination – but it was clear that we had arrived elsewhere, in a place very different from where we came from.”
“The 1896 Games were different from today’s world sports spectacle.”
I heard the word pernicious often lately. This fact is either a terrible sign on our world or a sign that pernicious is a word people hear and want to use right away in a sentence.
Here is Merriam-Webster’s description of pernicious: very harmful, destructive or fatal. Its root is a Latin word meaning destruction.
The word has a few synonyms that seem just as useful: harmful, harmful, noxious and damaging.
Here is an example of its use from a Post opinion piece:
“The challenges of distance learning, the isolation of friends and supportive adults, and the stress and strain of the economic fallout from the pandemic are new and pernicious burdens on students in DC communities and across the country.”
Recently I read the word ancestor in a story. Ancestor is an ancestor or an ancestor. But that sounds funny to me.
It made me think that the subject’s parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents are grizzly bears or some other type of bear. the before part simply means the above. Merriam-Webster, however, explains that the bear part of the word is a form of the verb to be: “Strangely, the ‘-ar’ is a form of the ‘-er’ suffix, which we add to verbs to denote one who performs a specified action. In this case, the ‘action’ is simply existing or being – in other words, ‘-bear’ implies one that is a ‘be-er’. “
I don’t think I will use ancestor. I may have read too many John Irving books (he loves bears), but I stick to ancestor (despite its implicit sexism). Oh, first is a word, but I’ve rarely heard it.
Here is another swim through a stream of consciousness. I read on Nextdoor that a person offering to mow lawns called himself the Grass Guy. I immediately wondered if he was married to someone who preyed on unwanted plants, the Weed Woman. Then i realized grass and cannabis are slang words for marijuana. Maybe the unlikely people of this imaginary couple are actually providing pot?
I had to leave these crazy thoughts to contemplate the origin of the terms grass, peed and pot.
I found a few websites providing the history of marijuana including its slang words. I loved the explanation of pot, then I was disappointed because it was not certain. (See arkansasonline.com/426pot.)
Marijuana is called pot because “pot” is a shortened version of “potación de goyava,” which may have been a Mexican drink made by steeping cannabis leaves in wine or brandy. Emphasize the “can” – no one is 100% sure.
the origin of the grass Is simple:
In the 1960s, marijuana typically consisted of dried, crumbled stems and leaves. As a result, people commonly referred to marijuana as “weed”. From NPR:
Grass appears to be the result of confusion. University of Cincinnati historian Isaac Campos told NPR that grass could be a shortened version of the word ‘locoweed’, a species of plant that grows in southwest and northern Mexico … often eaten by cattle or horses but had terrible effects on them.This word was sometimes used interchangeably with marijuana in late 19th century Mexico, so when stories about marijuana started to arrive in the United States, the two plants were confused. “
University of Chicago linguist Jason Riggle added that a California bill of 1913 that sought to criminalize the cultivation of marijuana … “called the drug ‘locoweed’.” (See arkansasonline.com/426weed.)
I’ll frankly end with this interesting word: while other nicknames for marijuana are used less and less each year, the one we can’t use in the family diary is the only word for cannabis that is being used at such a rate. constantly increasing. . You were warned.
Sources include Merriam-Webster, The Washington Post, Way of Leaf, Green State, NPR, Dispensaries.com. Join Bernadette at