In a previous post I mentioned aibohphobia as the fear of palindromes (and which itself is a palindrome). Which leads to the question — how many things are there to be afraid of? Lots. My Webster’s New World College Dictionary lists phobia as “an irrational, excessive, and persistent fear of some particular thing or situation”,
Author Archives: Bob Welbaum
A judge told this anecdote during a speech I heard a long time ago. He was about to sentence a young man, and asked him if he had anything to say. The young man replied, “Yes sir, are you a Buckeye?” No, the judge wasn’t, but the question was so unusual it piqued his curiosity.
This is a true story from a friend in the advertising business. He had designed a calendar for a client as a beginning-of-the-year promotion. Each month was introduced with a wise saying. One month’s saying was “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” The following month’s was “Well
Actually, a palindrome can be just about anything that is the same both forwards and backwards. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palindrome) The Greeks and Romans had a type of palindrome in which the words rather than letters are read in reverse order. “Jack loves Jill, not Jane” versus “Jane, not Jill, loves Jack”. This is harder in English, so
Mine is (of course) the common form of my first name: Bob. (Sometimes when authors autograph books for me, I tell them “Try not to get it backwards.”) The most elaborate palindrome I’ve ever seen is “Go hang a salami! I’m a lasagna hog!” This was by a clever writer named Jon Agee, who’s written
A comment on the English language: The English language is about one half redundant. Do you agree? If not, just read the words in bold. (I saw this on a sign in Hollywood, CA.)
Something about the menu didn’t seem quite right. We were at one of our favorite restaurants for our weekly Saturday dining-out. The menu had been redone, and one of the new offerings caught my eye. It was an appetizer: Chicken Fingers with dipping sauce $3.99 Maybe it was the fact that I was unusually alert
There’s snow all over the place in Dayton, OH, so today I thought I’d share one of my poems. (BTW, it’s in the Some Poems About Life book.) Perspective The son stood in the doorway, Behold a beautiful sight! As far as he could see, nothing but fluffy white! Today would be a time of laughter
Yesterday’s column piqued a friend’s curiosity. In an email he asked what Thai words that I remember have made it into English? My tour of duty in Southeast Asia was 1972-73, but I quickly remembered one word — nitnoy. It’s online in the Urban Dictionary. Nitnoy — “A little bit” – from Thai “Nit Noi”.
If the English language is so idiomatic (as discussed yesterday), why does it enjoy worldwide popularity? Language-wise, the book The Story of English gives three reasons: — Unlike all the other European languages, gender is determined by meaning, so a noun doesn’t have to be matched with the right article. For example, in French the moon