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#250 - 03/15/00 10:42 PM need help with trivia question  
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jackiemw Offline
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I'm addicted to a weekly language-related trivia contest at englishconsulting.com. Usually I know the answer or can find it, but this week's deceptively simple question has me stumped. Here it is: What would some language "authorities" say is wrong with this sentence? An apple is a healthy snack. Any suggestions?
Any ideas?


#251 - 03/15/00 11:08 PM Re: need help with trivia question  
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AnnyO Offline
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I think it has to do with the word healthy. If the H is silent, then the word begins with a vowel sound, so use an instead of a, such as an hour, an heir. However, depending on what part of the country or world you are from there may be some disagreement as to whether the H is silent.


#252 - 03/15/00 11:13 PM Re: need help with trivia question  
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RonDavis Offline
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The answer could be hairsplitting about the precise meanings of words.

Maybe there is a supposed distinction between an apple and a snack that consists of an apple.

Maybe it is not the snack that is healthy, but (potentially) the person who eats it.


#253 - 03/15/00 11:24 PM Re: need help with trivia question  
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Wordsmith Offline
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An apple could be healthy, if the farmer took good care of it. But I believe here we are mainly concerned
with whether it is a healthful snack or not.


#254 - 03/15/00 11:25 PM Re: need help with trivia question  
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deborah s Offline
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I believe I know the answer to this one. The sentence should read: An apple is a healthful snack. (Or maybe "an healthful" snack...not sure on that point.) I wish I could tell you why healthful is correct and healthy is not, but unfortunately I don't know the exact reason.

What do you think?


#255 - 03/16/00 12:02 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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jackiemw Offline
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Thanks for putting me on the right track! Watch-Word!!! (A Glossary of Gobbledygook, Cliches, and Solecisms) agrees that healthful should be used rather than healthy. They say healthful means giving or promoting health; healthy means having good health. Example - a climate is healthful; only a person is healthy (except when word means considerable quantity as in a healthy serving of pie). Thanks "hairsplitters!"


#256 - 03/23/00 12:15 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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jmh Offline
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I think this is a good example of a very silly word. There is nothing wrong with "healthy". We can talk about a company's finances being healthy as well as a healthy appetitite or a healthy sum of money. Let's leave healthful in the gobbledygook book where it belongs.

I would also like to raise the issue of other silly words along the lines of transportation used instead of transport, for example, (in the simple case where they have the same meaning) this leads to the creation of unnecessary words along the same lines as "to transportate", or words along the same lines as the term "transportationise/ize". Why is there such a tendancy to make a new longer word when a perfectly acceptable short word will do the job?


#257 - 03/23/00 05:07 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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lusy Offline
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I agree in principle with jmh on the issue of unnecessary words, but I do feel quite sure that "healthy" and "healthful" are in fact interchangeable in the sense of either conducive to or enjoying good health.


#258 - 03/23/00 08:16 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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jmh Offline
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Regarding the use of the word "an" with words beginning with "h". I think it is technically correct to use "an" but people appear to be increasingly uncomfortable with it. I remember a recent discussion in the UK press about "a historic occasion" versus "an historic occasion".


#259 - 06/20/00 10:06 PM Re: need help with trivia question  
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jackiemw Offline
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Thank goodness this word trivia contest is almost over (runs for 26 weeks). I'm stumped on this week's question, though. Here it is - "I can't wait to sink my teeth into that!" he said bitingly and "I'm gasping for air!" she said breathlessly are examples of what specific type of play on words? I'm sure I once knew this, but I've been looking through reference books and surfing for more than an hour. I know this is the right place to post this question!


#260 - 06/21/00 12:18 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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tsuwm Offline
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this too shall pass
>I know this is the right place to post this question!

"Hurry up and answer", Tom thought Swiftly. That's right, it's a Tom Swifty. a google search on this will turn up 100s of hits and I encourage the effort as these can entertain for... as long as it takes. for the googley impaired, here are a couple of links and a couple more examples:

http://www.mneta.org/~WMjglenn/SIMMSTomSwifties.html

http://www.floaty.com/~jonathan/library/jonathan/swifties

Let's go dig up some bodies, Tom said gravely.
I've struck oil, Tom said crudely.
Your hair is a complete mess, Tom teased.
I couldn't believe there were exactly 100 people there, Tom recounted.



#261 - 06/21/00 04:44 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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a versus an. The answer is simple. If you pronounce the h, use a, if you don't pronounce it use an. I remember reading somewhere (Fowler maybe?) that the h in historic didn't use to be pronounced by the "educated" but was pronounced by the "uneducated", and that's why the myth grew up that it should be an historic regardless of the fact that the "educated" pronunciation had changed.

Bingley


Bingley
#262 - 06/21/00 09:50 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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Writerly1 Offline
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Given the news concerning the various chemical sprays, perhaps an apple is neither healthy nor healthful. The question may be more technical than semantic.


#263 - 06/21/00 10:00 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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The sprays are applied to keep the apple healthy. Their effects on the consumer of the fruit have to be "within the limits of tolerance".


#264 - 06/21/00 02:17 PM Re: an historic  
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jmh Offline
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Which is why the only person left saying "an historic" is the queen (and even she looks a little uncomfortable with it).


#265 - 06/21/00 08:07 PM Re: need help with trivia question  
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>>"Hurry up and answer", Tom thought Swiftly. That's right, it's a Tom Swifty. a google search on this will turn up 100s of hits and I encourage the effort as these can entertain for... as long as it takes.<<
Tsuwm, you are really sharp, she said pointedly.




#266 - 06/21/00 08:11 PM Re: need help with trivia question  
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Jackie Offline
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Writerly1--
Whoa, your very first post!
I hope, based on your name, that we'll be seeing
a whole lot more from you.

(hint, hint, to all you FORMERLY
posting people who seem to have vanished!)



#267 - 06/21/00 08:14 PM Re: need help with trivia question  
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Jackie Offline
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>>The sprays are applied to keep the apple healthy. Their effects on the consumer of the fruit have to be "within the limits of tolerance".<<

Dr. Sieber,

If Writerly1 is from the U.S., that might explain the
concern. We had a nationwide scare about this a few years
ago. (Overblown by the media, in my opinion.)






#268 - 06/22/00 12:33 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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jackiemw Offline
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"Thank you for your delicious help, tsuwm," jackiemw replied tastefully. (Okay, so I don't have the hang of it yet, best I could come up with off the top of my head.) An honest-to-goodness thank you, though.

To others who replied, thanks for your posts. I should have made this a new topic, I guess, to avoid confusion. The healthy/healthful trivia question was answered a while ago. (Healthy relates to people; healthful to things.)


#269 - 06/22/00 04:32 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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Bingley Offline
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Jakarta
In reply to:

Why is there such a tendancy to make a new longer word when a perfectly acceptable short word will do the job?


For the same reason as leads to finding such hitherto unknown distinctions as healthful v. healthy. TO MAKE YOURSELF LOOK MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE THAN OTHER PEOPLE

Bingley



Bingley
#270 - 06/22/00 01:04 PM Re: posting  
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>>(hint, hint, to all you FORMERLY posting people who seem to have vanished!)<<

Jackie *guilty look* I had a flat tire and the dog ate my homework....


#271 - 06/22/00 03:07 PM Re: posting  
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this too shall pass
"Let me break down my reasons for posting less often...", Tom dissembled.


#272 - 06/22/00 05:55 PM Re: an historic  
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ammelah Offline
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I think that the reason why "an historic" is said while it is common to say "a history" is that the stress in "historical" falls on the second syllable; the h-sound is often weakened at the beginning of a weak-vowelled syllable (as in vehicle, annihilate).


#273 - 06/22/00 06:49 PM Re: an historic  
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jmh Offline
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>the stress in "historical" falls on the second syllable

"Sounds like a valuable contribution" she said, reasonably.


#274 - 06/22/00 06:52 PM Re: need help with trivia question  
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jmh Offline
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>TO MAKE YOURSELF LOOK MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE THAN OTHER PEOPLE

"I couldn't argue with that", she said peacefully.


(or did I mean peaceably?)

#275 - 06/22/00 06:55 PM Re: posting  
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jmh Offline
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>hint, hint

I'll be off on holiday in a few days (I have to check out the Millennium Wheel). Do I need a note?


#276 - 06/23/00 04:11 AM Re: posting  
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Bingley Offline
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Jakarta
In reply to:

I'll be off on holiday in a few days (I have to check out the Millennium Wheel). Do I need a note?


she circulated. Have a good time!



Bingley



Bingley
#277 - 06/23/00 05:28 AM Re: posting less often  
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>TO MAKE YOURSELF LOOK MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE THAN OTHER PEOPLE

I gave up that race some time ago


#278 - 06/23/00 03:28 PM Re: posting  
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this too shall pass
>Do I need a note?

"I think under these circumstances, and in this venue, an aegrotat is required", he riposted notedly.


#279 - 06/24/00 03:42 PM Re: posting  
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Jackie Offline
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Well, can you beat that, she said, competitively.
It looks like the folks who responded to my challenge must be the ones with (unnecessarily) guilty consciences!
I posted that because, when I was searching for one
particular past thread, I came across several once-familiar
names, of people who have not posted in WEEKS.
C'mon, you all, we miss you! (I left the hyphen out of you-all, to indicate in Kentuckian that the accent is to be on
'all', indicating that I mean each and every one. If, as in
you-all, the accent is on 'you', that just refers to the
crowd in general!) 'Strewth, I swear!


#280 - 06/24/00 06:53 PM Re: posting  
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>I came across several once-familiar
names, of people who have not posted in WEEKS.

Things are a little messy down here now. But in a fortnight or less, like the Phoenix, I will rise from my own ashes!.


Juan Maria.

#281 - 06/25/00 08:31 AM Re: posting  
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lusy Offline
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I'm still here. But actually I am just looking for a status upgrade. But who's counting, enyway? I am, as usual, dearie!

Rgds, looty

OmiGod, now I'm "rhapsody lopez", according to the dreaded SpelChekka!


#282 - 06/25/00 08:41 AM Re: posting  
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lusy Offline
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Hey, lookit me, I'm a Journeyperson!

Not that it means anyhing, of course. I mean, I'm still the same old loveable little lusydog that I always was.

But lookit here, kids ... you wanna play on this block, you gotta lift your game! This is, like, really serious boarding, right?


#283 - 06/25/00 11:40 AM Re: posting  
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Jackie Offline
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Criminently, lusy!
Now Ah reckon ya c'n, er, "bark" with the big dogs!
That is, if you can lift your "game" high enough.


#284 - 06/25/00 11:41 AM Re: posting  
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Geez, I can't believe I just said that!


#285 - 06/28/00 12:21 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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jackiemw Offline
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Thanks, everyone, for your help with healthful/healthy and Tom Swifty. I need to ask one more question, though. I'm still in the running for first place but need the answer for the 26th and final (for the first half of the year) question. Here it is: Which name for the Prince of Darkness comes from the Latin for 'light-bringer'? I've been to more vampire/vampyre sites than I could imagine existed but no luck. And I've also been to Latin translating sites. My son thinks the answer is Lestat for some reason which I can't remember. Thanks in advance for any help.


#286 - 06/28/00 12:29 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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this too shall pass
>Which name for the Prince of Darkness comes from the Latin for 'light-bringer'?

that has to be Lucifer.


#287 - 06/28/00 12:41 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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Jackie Offline
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Dang, Tsuwm! You posted while I was looking it up!
Jackiemw: Latin-English dictionary
says: bring on=infero
to bring=affero
light=lux lucis.
Even for someone who never took Latin, these are enough
for me to say Lucifer, with certainty!
Though I also had a clue by knowing that what makes lightning bugs light up is luciferin.




#288 - 07/01/00 12:22 PM Re: posting  
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emanuela Offline
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Italy - Perugia is a town with...
Me to!
Emanuela


#289 - 07/01/00 12:31 PM I'm sorry for last meaningless post...  
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emanuela Offline
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Italy - Perugia is a town with...
I wanted just reply to Juanmaria, saying that "me too", I am alive and I will come back, as soon as I can .
Ciao a tutti (= hi you all ???)
Emanuela


#290 - 07/01/00 10:49 PM Re: need help with trivia question  
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Bridget Offline
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>>I also had a clue by knowing that what makes lightning bugs light up is luciferin.<<

And that lucifer is another word for match, as in the World War I army song:

'Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
and smile, boys, smile.
What's the use of worrying?
It never was worthwhile
As long as you've a lucifer to light your fag,
Smile boys that's the style.'

Or something like that, anyway. (Jackie and other North Americans, please don't be misled by the British use of the word fag!)

...or now I know how to write markup (thanks Jackie!) maybe I should embellish that

'Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
and smile , boys, smile .
What's the use of worrying ?
It never was worthwhile
As long as you've a lucifer to light your fag,
Smile boys that's the style.'


#291 - 07/02/00 01:21 AM Re: I'm sorry for last meaningless post...  
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Jackie Offline
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>>I am alive and I will come back<<
Super, E! Tickled to hear it!
And si, "ciao a tutti" is certainly close enough to hi, you
all!


#292 - 07/02/00 01:24 AM Re: need help with trivia question  
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Jackie Offline
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>>'Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
and smile, boys, smile.<<
I can remember my parents singing that, but just the first
few lines! Yup, I knew what that f-word meant.



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