Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hooked on words or are you confused by them?

Last weeks blog got me thinking about words…any kind of words, and then I thought about THOSE words. You know what words I’m talking about.

{:-O Girls!

No, no, no…NOT T H O S E words but THOSE words that you avoid using because you’re never sure which one to use.

Example, THAT or WHICH. As simple as those two words are…I still avoid using either one when I can. But David Dowling wrote a book called The Wrong Word Dictionary, and he says the rule is THAT is used when you’re identifying information.

This 30’s Vicki is the ford THAT has a new engine.

He said, WHICH is only used to amplify the information you’re trying to pass on.

My ford Vicki, WHICH runs well, has a new engine.

So THAT identifies and WHICH amplifies.

Yeah right, like I’ll remember that the next time my Irish mouth is running a mile a minute….hummm.

My brain THAT has an old mind, WHICH normally runs very well for gray matter, is out of whack when it comes to THOSE WORDS….or is it THESE words?

Now, how about THEREFOR and THEREFORE….Can you guess which one is right? Notice there’s an e on the end of one. So which one do you pick?

If its Therefor…..beep, WRONG….well, not totally, but it’s very uncommon…therefor is used like – John will explain what we must do first and the causes therefor…
TRUST ME, therefor is hardly ever used.

Therefore (with the e) mean hence or consequently.

So, looks like we can forget about the lost e one and just say, “Billy just murdered his dinosaurs therefore he’ll be going to jail.”
Heck, we all know the bad guys get away with it, so I should have said … “Billy just murdered his dinosaurs therefore he’ll be going to the Bahamas for an unspecified time.”

Here are a few more:

Throes, Throws: Throes means severe spasm of pain and Throws means to hurls or fling things at people you don’t like…then again you just might throw your foe to the ground and beat at him wildly until he’s in the throes of pain….yap that might work.

Unwanted and Unwonted: O.K., we all know what being Unwanted means, so let’s skip to Unwonted…nope, I didn’t misspell it. It’s Unwonted and means out of the ordinary or unusual. I heard this word often when I was a model…and I still haven’t figured out if they meant it in a good or bad way.
Hummmm, my ego still cringes when I hear it…I keep telling meself they meant it more about me Irish ways then me looks….};-/ but I wonder.

O.K., I admit…I used to say SKIDDISH and then I found out the correct word is SKITTISH. Hey, I’m Irish and you Americans just plain talk funny in my book. LOL

Alright, we all know what a PRODIGY is, O.K., for those who don’t it’s a person with exceptional talents…someone like me???? O.K., O.K., I was just kidding around with you. A Prodigy is some one more brilliant than me. But what’s the difference between a PROTÉGÉ AND PROTEGEE? Can you guess? The PROTÉGÉ is a male who is guided by a teacher who was probably a Prodigy child at one time and a PORTEGEE is a female counterpart of the Protege.

I didn’t know English had female and male endings to their words….I know Spanish does, but that’s why I did want to learned Spanish…too hard to figure out if an iguana I wanted to talk about was a female or male, and I wasn’t about to get that close to the lizard to find out.
I thought maybe the name IGUANA with the A ending was a hint that the word might be a female word, but then what if the Iguana I was talking about was a male…was I suppose to say iguano instead of iguana? Or could I say Iguana for a male as well as a female, even if it was an Iguano? Ah, it was all too confusing for me Irish brain…we don’t have the ugly beast in Ireland that I’m aware of, so I don’t really have to worry about that subject coming up… unless…oh, please let’s move on to the next word before I start getting obsessed with this words ending.

What about the term, Fair to middling or is it Fair to midland? The correct term is Fair to middling and it means I’m alright or so-so or come see come saw. How this came about is interesting, Dave Dowling said, it came about because of cotton grading. Fair being a low grade of cotton and Middling being the lowest.

So I wonder what the real meaning of come see come saw means…my mom used it like fair to middling.

And last – FARTHER & FURTHER. Farther means distance and Further means something you dread hearing at an airport….further delays are expected.

O.K., put your hats on and tell me the ones you hate to use….There are a ton of these words….I know you can come up with a few.



Vicki said...

Great post Hawk. :) Then and than trip me me up sometimes. It's not like I don't know the difference, but they can still make it in the wrong place.

Vicki said...

Hey, today's my blog day over at Everybody Needs a Little Romance. :)

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Hey Vicki!

Oh don't get me started on those two words...yes, like you, I know the difference, but still....

Oh, I see you had a blog day over at ENALR - Sorry I missed it but I'll go over now and check it out.


Lea said...

Wonderful intersting post Hawk!

So sorry I haven't be by, yikes. I'm so sorry.

I've been stuck at work REALLY long hours and am backed up with correspondence, my off line friends will tell you sometimes you have to bring in the backhoe and dig me out from under.

Hope all is going well with those wonderful books for the Nationals girl!! Thinking of you.

I'll do my best to e-mail over the weekend.


Once the end of March comes things should get better. :)

Houston A.W. Knight said...


O.K, I've got the backhoe started...I should be up your way in about ten minutes. LOL

Sweetie, don't you know you're not suppose to work in winter? It's too cold for one thing. Who wants to get out of bed in weather like that anyway? LOL

Thank you for the kind thoughts about the Nationals I'm sure trying.

I'd love to tell you what's been going on so when you get a moment, e me on my private addie.

Stay warm, hugs

My Blog 2.0 said...

My favorite is Who's and Whose, one is who is such as: Who's the brightest one in the room? Whose shows position. Whose books are all over the floor?

Then and Than

There, Their, They're

and all time favorite Who and Whom

Dottie :)

Houston A.W. Knight said...


Wow, you picked some good ones...who, who's, whose. OGM, then and than...they just got me yesterday! Nasty little pest aren't they. LOL

So glad you enjoyed my other post! The ghost picture got you huh? So, what did you see when you saw it?