Posted By: Wordsmith Words about words - 09/18/00 03:14 AM
Why in the world would three seemingly unrelated phenomena--a plane curve,
a grammatical form, and a writing style--be represented by a single word?
A glance at the etymology and everything falls in place. The common thread
here is `shortfall': whether an ellipse, a shape that falls short of being
a circle; a sentence that is short a few words; or terse writing. For a
treasury of words like these, it would not be much exaggeration to say that
a dictionary is perhaps one of the most fascinating books ever conceived.
Let's peruse a few more meta-words, or words about words, this week.

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