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Is There Something You Want to Say to the World?

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Terms relating to nationalities [Dec. 13th, 2009|02:49 pm]
Is There Something You Want to Say to the World?

[Dusts off the table, shakes the dirt off the chair, cleans up the dustbunnies...]

Wow. Long time no post, eh? Well, I have a question that has been bugging me for months, if not years, and since I couldn't find the answer anywhere else, I figured I would ask here. What I want to know is that do they call words describe a nationality? Now, I'm not looking for demonyms here (like American, Japanese, Spaniard, etc.) That's not what I'm on about.

What I am specifically looking for are prefixes. For example: Sino-, Franco-, Russo-, Anglo-. I want to know more about these prefixes and if there are any others out there. I just can't figure out what the term is for prefixes like this and why there aren't more than four or five in use. Right now I'm in Japan studying the culture and the word "Japanophile" came up in class, but honestly, "Japano-" can't really be Japan's equivalent, can it?

Thanks for any help in advance.
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Homophobia [Jan. 7th, 2008|11:03 am]
Is There Something You Want to Say to the World?

The word "homophobia" (and it's offspring, "homophobe") and it's use in modern society confuse me. Most people, when they call someone a "homophobe", mean "You're a racist douchebag who hates homosexuals for no reason." But let's look at the word. "Homo" is pretty obvious; this relates to homosexuality. "Phobia" means fear. So it means "fear of homosexuality", if taken literally. Yet most people think it means "racist" or "anti-gay". Fear ≠ racism. While they can be connected, they are not necessarily one and the same.

Think about it. What about the person who has a genuine fear of gay people? Some sort of chemical instability in the brain, just like a person who has arachnophobia or agoraphobia? Should they be treated as "racist bastards?" I don't think so. They just need medication.

There should be a different word used for people who hate gays. Homophobia should be restricted to just those people afraid of homosexuals, whether their reasoning is irrational or not.
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Help for a paper: American Yiddish study [Dec. 31st, 2007|01:52 pm]
Is There Something You Want to Say to the World?

Hi all,
batshua sent me over here with a questionnaire I put up on weirdjews. It's about the incorporation of Yiddish into the American English lexicon.
Bottom line: I'm hoping to prove that a few selected words have different shades of meaning depending on how many Jewish people the speaker knows (using Milroy-style network density measurements). I'd love your help! If you'd rather email your answers, direct them to yiddishstudy AT gmail DOT com.

So far I've had a lot of responses from people identifying as female and between 20 and 30. If you're in that category and want to help I certainly won't ignore your response, but I would LOVE to hear from more non-females of any age.

If this sounds good to you, here's the survey.Collapse )
Thanks so much for helping out!

xposted: linguaphiles, weirdjews, brandeis, thelexicon
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Kaboom [Dec. 20th, 2007|12:45 am]
Is There Something You Want to Say to the World?
Hey there; queenlyzard asked me to post about this.

The [compound] word is: relativistic fireball shock

The relativistic fireball shock model is a successful scientific theory that explains much of the phenomena related to gamma-ray bursts. A gamma-ray burst is essentially the most energetic and brightest event in the universe, save for the Big Bang itself. Yes, that includes supernovas. GRBs are way brighter than supernovas; they release more energy than the sun would if it lived for 880 billion years, all within the span of milliseconds to minutes. Literally. How much energy is that? If one were to go off within ~3,500 light-years of Earth (that's about 2.06 × 1016 miles), and if it were pointed at us (they emit energy along a specific axis only, kinda light a spotlight), we'd be toast.

Anyway, here's a cut-and-paste from this Scientific American article, which explains it pretty well:
...the initial energy release of the explosion is stored in the kinetic energy of a shell of particles-- a fireball-- moving at close to the speed of light. The particles include photons as well as electrons and their antimatter counterpart, positrons. This fireball expands to a diameter of 10 billion to 100 billion kilometers, by which point the photon density has dropped enough for the gamma rays to escape unhindered. The fireball then converts some of its kinetic energy into electromagnetic radiation, yielding a GRB.

The initial gamma-ray emission is most likely the result of internal shock waves within the expanding fireball. Those shocks are set up when faster blobs in the expanding material overtake slower blobs. Because the fireball is expanding so close to the speed of light, the timescale witnessed by an external observer is vastly compressed, according to the principles of relativity. So the observer sees a burst of gamma rays that lasts only a few seconds, even if it took a day to produce. The fireball continues to expand, and eventually it encounters and sweeps up surrounding gas. Another shock wave forms, this time at the boundary between the fireball and the external medium, and persists as the fireball slows down. This external shock nicely accounts for the GRB afterglow emission and the gradual degradation of this emission from gamma rays to x-rays to visible light and, finally, to radio waves.
In a nutshell: explosions that are sufficiently powerful to create gamma-ray bursts first give off fireballs at close to the speed of light (this is where the "relativistic" part of the name comes from). Shockwaves are generated in the fireball from things moving at different speeds, and this accounts for first the gamma-ray emission itself, then the less energetic afterglow.
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wordz of the day... and boobies [Dec. 3rd, 2007|08:01 pm]
Is There Something You Want to Say to the World?

[Tags|, ]

So... is there a noun form of "insipid"?  Something tells me it's probably "insipidness," but I'm going to put in a vote for "insipidity"-- tell me that doesn't sound cool!

Actually, I've always had trouble remembering that "insipid" means "bland," because it sounds so much like "insidious," which is a wonderfully nefarious word.

Nefarious, too, is one of those words that rolls over the tongue like dark chocolate.

And a comment by matrexius reminded me how much I love the word "titillate"-- and only partly because it has tits in it.  Other fans of tits may want to go check out these entries of kittikattie's:
Merry Titmas Picture
We Wish You a Merry Titmas, and best of all,
The Twelve Days of Titmas


Ok, I shut up now.
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more serious question [Nov. 27th, 2007|09:13 pm]
Is There Something You Want to Say to the World?

What's the difference between venomous and poisonous, or is there one?  I ran across a bit of text recently that spoke of a "venomous" substance, and I realized that I always thought of "venomous" as a more... active?... adjective.  An animal would be "venomous", whereas a substance or even a plant would be "poisonous".  I don't know if that's just my own sense of the connotation, though.  I guess I'd also think of a "poisonous animal" as meaning one whose flesh is poisonous to eat, whereas a "venomous" animal would have poisoned fangs or something.  Does that distinction make sense?  And is that distinction generally attached to the words, or are they really interchangeable?

Perhaps something "poisonous" is harmful when ingested, but something "venomous" does damage through a wound or so on?  Well, a dagger can be poisoned... but I don't think I've ever heard of someone dying from eating something "venomous".

Either way, they're both cool words.
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a silly question [Nov. 27th, 2007|09:12 pm]
Is There Something You Want to Say to the World?

X-posted from my journal:

If someone who acts rashly is said to be reckless, does that mean that cautious people have/exhibit the quality of "reck"?  Can you do something reckfully?
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Something for the wordies [Oct. 30th, 2007|01:01 pm]
Is There Something You Want to Say to the World?

I stole this from a friend. Exercise your mind and help save a small piece of the world also.

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Question [Oct. 19th, 2007|09:46 pm]
Is There Something You Want to Say to the World?

Does the word "Gospel" strictly refer to only Christian literature, or can it be applied to anything that is a religious text (or even, perhaps, a non-religious one?) A crazy idea popped into my head and I'm kinda looking to deflate it because I have too many ideas already.
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ssssss.... [Sep. 9th, 2007|10:26 pm]
Is There Something You Want to Say to the World?

reticulated: Adj

1. netted; covered with a network.
2. netlike.
3. Botany. having the veins or nerves disposed like the threads of a net.
4) A really cool word, made cooler by the fact that it is generally found in context of the phrase "reticulated python", which impresses people even when (like me not long ago) they don't know what it means.

ps-- "python" is also a cool word, far more so than "snake". I am also fond of the term "serpent", which has both a mythical and a malevolent feel to it. "Viper" on the other hand is short and sweet, far less lyrical, but notably more bad-ass. It's the sort of word you use for fast vehicles and possibly something involving drugs.

And while we're at it, kudos to whoever named the Anaconda. It's a wonderful name, and almost onomatopoeic, being long and sinuous in the mouth.

Sinuous, as in gracefully snake-like, is another of my favorite words, and sinuosity even more so. That's the kind of word that can tie someone up like a black silk cord. Sinuosity.

Ok, I'm done now.
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