Archive for July, 2014

Another great “what a difference” a word can make!

“After purchasing lumber, I read the warning on the receipt. It confirmed what I already knew – I was happy to be married. The receipt read: ‘Handling may cause spinsters.’ ” – submitted to the Readers Digest by Diane Slaughter

“If you fixate on the worst-case scenario, and it actually happens, you’ve lived it twice.” – Michael J. Fox, in Vanity Fair

I’m starting a new category focusing on words. “Beyond the Dictionary” will look at how the usage and meaning of common words change over time. Today’s word is “bread”.

Form of food prepared by baking or frying dough made from a ground grain. Can be leavened or unleavened, flat or in a loaf. Today there are hundreds of types of bread catering to all tastes.

At one point in history, bread was known as the “staff of life”. It was an important staple of most Western civilization’s diets. In some it became a form of currency (or the ingredients did). Hence the slang use of bread to mean cash. This is no longer in common usage. However the compound noun, breadwinner, is still in use. Thus the slang definition of bread lives on in “One who earns a living for his/her dependants”.

Bonus word: Loaf

 A form that bread can take. Also a synonym meaning to spend time idly. And morphed into a noun, loafer, meaning a casual shoe! (or as a verb a “loafer” is one who loafs!)

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Quote of the Week

Posted: July 14, 2014 in Quotes
Tags: , ,

“Undoubtedly, we come what we envisage.” – Claude M. Bristol

Found in the Readers Digest:

“The note from the parent clearly explained the student’s situation: ‘Please let Jean leave the room if she asks. She has been sick with dire rear’.”

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

Word transformations:

“[in 2004] Twitter was a sound, the cloud was in the sky, 4G was a parking space, Linkedin was a prison, appkications were what you sent to college, and for most people Skype was a typo.” – Thomas Friedman on Meet the Press

So what common words will have uncommon meanings 10 years from now? Think about that…

“I fell upon the thorns of prose. I bled.” – Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way