As a noun, “hibernation” is the “action of passing the winter.” Much like a bear, this blog will be in hibernation until the new year. Enjoy the holidays!
Monthly Archives: December 2014
Resource Recommendation: Common Errors in English UsageStandard
While the fact that some of these errors are common is baffling, Paul Brians’s Common Errors in English Usage (2d ed. 2009) is a really fun book, and can be very helpful.
There’s a third edition out, which I haven’t read, but I assume would be even better.
Three Sheets to the WindStandard
A phrase which means “very drunk.” Its origins are nautical but contested. In one version, the “sheets” refer to chains or ropes which attach the sails to the boat. For them to be “to the wind” means the ship is falling over itself in the manner of a drunk. This means that there was a scale of how many sheets to the wind one could be. But another explanation is that the sheets means sails, and the key is not that there are three because three is a lot of sheets, but that three is an odd number. Even numbers of sails would be balanced, but odd numbers would not be. I don’t know either is right. The second link references another NY Times article that is a quick and fun read.
5 Words That Only Exist in the NegativeStandard
The Common Reader: Sourcing Quotes on the InternetStandard
So I still haven’t found a 19th century word for “diss track” yet, but I have found one possible Old English equivalent: flyting.
Resource Recommendation: Online Etymology DictionaryStandard
The Online Etymology Dictionary is a great way to lose hours of your life to the internet. It is also very helpful, well-written, and easy-to-use site. Some more info on its backstory is here.