Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

The Dis- Diss

DISISIT2The following is a collection of pun-like interactions involving words beginning with “dis” — possibly the largest such original dis-punsation in the history of humanity.

Join the fun and try to add your own…

This sickness has made me so worried – I’m just always tense nowadays.

Disease is like that.

I’ve had to distance myself from my Marxist friend Robert; I just don’t agree with him anymore, and it’s all been kind of confusing.

I know, you’re feeling discombobulated.

They finally took down that billboard from the beautiful viewpoint that’s hard to get to because of road conditions.

Sounds like a disadvantaged location.

At the end, Jean Luc Picard just couldn’t get into his Star Fleet captain role anymore.

He seemed disengaged.

I can’t stand this month: I’ve got my anniversary, 4 family birthdays, Mother’s Day, and I’m so worn out by the end that I can hardly enjoy Memorial Day.

That’s dismaying.

I wrote the protest email and off it went but then it bounced back! Ugh.

I know, dissent can be a frustrating process.

I was curious so I just grabbed that blanket and yanked it off the bed.

What did you discover?

I was carefully counting the fruit on the Mediterranean tree in the painting but then someone in the background called out “42” and I got mixed up which made me throw out my arm and I accidentally hit the canvas.

How badly did you disfigure things?

I like to tell people about how I gave up swearing.

You like discussing, don’t you?

I used to be in favor of eating a measured amount of food in my diet, but I gave that up.

That’s a disproportionate response.

Those women were speaking reproachfully about the opposite sex while they were tearing down the fireplace.

They really dismantled it.

He had cardiac surgery but the artificial organ replacement just couldn’t pump his blood correctly.

That’s disheartening.

It was terrible seeing how they treated those little people at that huge shopping galleria.

I know, it was so dismally done.

I promoted a highly qualified person into the position, but months of infighting led to her begin kicked out.

What a disappointing result.

I couldn’t believe how they addressed that young lady.

Yes, it was so dismissive.

He was always so harsh towards people of that race, and then his daughter married one.

Hopefully that will disabuse him of such biases.

Different cultures have different practices on how to deal with the umbilical after birth, and conflicting views sometimes happen.

Lots of discord can arise over that.

He used to get into fistfights all the time, until that terrible accident at the lumber yard.

Yeah, that really disarmed him.

Sometimes I get obsessed with trying to number everything.

I try to discount such feelings.

He used to make those low, loud noises when he was working hard around the yard, but his throat problems put a damper on that.

He’s a bit disgruntled over this development.

Inflation rates have been so low lately.

That’s why I’m disinterested in my savings account’s growth.

The two of them broke up, and then they got back together, but now I think it’s over for good.

They’re in a state of disrepair.

The vote is being carefully watched in Paris; the country’s voters have been in turmoil regarding their position in Europe.

It could be a disenfranchising outcome.

She tried to keep the door shut as long as possible, but finally they got it open and the surprise was revealed.

Another unwelcome disclosure.

He tried to check in with his American Express, but it was rejected and he was put out for the night.

Getting discharged and discarded like that is humiliating.

They were hosting the loud and obnoxious speaker, so they first got a legal document drawn up for protection.

It’s always wise to have a disclaimer in these cases.

There was a lot of arguing about what exactly happened in the incident, so it wasn’t clear what legal action might occur.

There was plenty of distortion from those who were responsible for the problems.

The CERN super-collider near Geneva had some people worried it might create black holes.

Their discernment led to protests.

The increasingly absentminded transplant surgeon slowly grew more reluctant to deal with body parts.

His disorganized mind led to a slowdown in his business.

The dean tried to deliver a recognition speech for the controversial colleague, but it was shouted down by many in the crowd.

That’s one way to distribute the news.

The superstar model slipped and fell into the water at the beach shoot.

She was disposed for no further work that day.

He tried to write the code for people’s phones, to help those hard of hearing, but gave up.

Another disappearing act.

While she was busy working a project overseas, the city exercised eminent domain and took away some of her property.

Too bad she was distracted.

He phoned in for pizza delivery, but it was a chaotic night at the restaurant and the pizza never arrived.

That place was guilty of disorderly conduct again.

Some additions after the original set …

The rough raft ride through the steep canyon after lunch already had made him nauseous, but the rapid drop at the end out into the flat area did him in.

He felt completely disgorged after leaving the scenic area so suddenly.

The math student stepped away from the computer after loading up the large matrix with number for her homework, and then the cat jumped up and lay down on the keyboard.

She was horrified to find the assignment left in a state of disarray.

The elderly man thought his assets were carefully tucked away in the fund, but his caretaker had secretly siphoned off most of the money.

Such examples of distrust are repugnant.

The long and terrible winds wrought significant destruction, but the people finally came out when the eerie calm began.

A scene of disgust met their eyes.


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No non-electronic talking allowed during the movieI don’t usually bother with product surveys, but occasionally I’ll give some free data in an effort to steer companies to continue doing things I like. A recent but ominous example comes from fandango.com, who has a promotion running where you can get a free ticket (2-for-1) on Friday nights when using a Visa Signature credit card.

Survey question #4 gave a jolting update on our state of existence in the electronic age. The question was simple enough — I thought it even contained its own answer in the question, like Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb? But the potential answers opened my eyes to the new reality.

#4. How did you talk about the Visa Signature “+1 Movie Fridays” ticket offer?

Answer choices were …
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blog Post
  • Phone/Text
  • Email
While one might learn or share about this offer in many ways, it seems obvious that the only choice on this list that could be used for talking is the ‘Phone/Text’ choice. Although, like all other choices, that requires an electronic gadget.
In my case, I actually talked about the promotion the ancient way: in person, with spoken words, and without the use of electronics. I am now painfully aware that I am obsolete, a relic perhaps, and I need to make sure I’m never separated from my phone or other internet-capable device if I hope to do any of that ‘talking’ stuff in the future.

Strategy tip: Since the offer is only good once every 30 days with a given Visa Signature credit card, you should get several cards and rack up thousands of dollars in debt on each in order to get a free $10 movie ticket each week.

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Brilliant English

A week in Cork, Ireland a month ago helped me learn new ways to speak English. Warning: Learning the following terms along with driving on the left side of the road through towns like Ballylickey, Gortagarry, and the cleverly named Newtown may cause some mild brain damage. The locals recommend a trip to the pub for medication. (Actually, they recommend this for almost any reason.)

Brilliant — This encouraging and positive term is used approximately all the time. Use it when you find something that’s at least not completely bad.

Grand — Use this when you need a break from saying brilliant, or when something is just a little less brilliant than brilliant.

Like – While Americans have grown to like to say like, like in the middle of a sentence, some Irish have moved this to the end of the sentence. “I have a lot of things to get done like.” Obviously, that ending ‘like’ really enhances the meaning of the sentence like.

Rubbish – Roughly used like our ‘garbage,’ but used more often as a negative description. This collection of words, for example, is a lot of rubbish.

Ring – While my boss in the U.S may want to wring my neck occasionally, in Ireland they ring you with a phone to talk about something brilliant. Occasionally they will bell you to share some grand thoughts.

Bollocks – technically a certain body part, this is a general term of disgust or mild-cursing. For an opposite to brilliant, bollocks is probably better than rubbish. I wanted to spell this “bollix” but was assured that was wrong. And to that I say, that’a load of bollocks since I find bollix listed in the always authoritative wikipedia like this: “The word is sometimes spelled as bollox or bollix, usually in order to make it appear less vulgar.” Indeed, everyone can instantly recognize that bollocks has a more vulgar appearance than bollix.

Jacks – When you’re having beers in a pub, eventually each person is going to go looking for the jacks for a little biological relief. It’s not a crude term but I was told it’s not proper enough for a conversation with the president, should the president ring you up someday.

Lads – People such as co-workers or teammates or someone else you need to ring and discuss some rubbish like.

Quid – Previously a unit of Irish money, it’s now used for a Euro. Which reminds me, one night 4 of us were standing outside a store that had closed seconds before we arrived (“Bollocks!”). While we were discussing our misfortune, a man came up and started talking in a language I couldn’t identify except that it certainly wasn’t English. I assumed he was helping out with some info on the store. Suddenly one of the lads pulled a quid out of his pocket and gave it to the man, who had actually been asking for money. And as I later learned, it had all been in English.

I’m happy to say, I learned one phrase that struck me (seriously) as a term with some memorable profoundness. In a moment of candor, one of the lads commented on his girlfriend that he ‘loved her to bits.’ It only has a grand sense (not a rubbish sense) and I think importing that one to America could be to our benefit. It might be that term of endearment you never knew how much you were missing like. Brilliant.

For those who want to punish themselves with hundreds more of these, click here.

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