Adventures in Etymology: Syncopation

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Syncopation

Syncopation by Mister Asta (Flickr) from 1954's "The First Book of Jazz" by Langston Hughes - illustrations by Cliff Roberts. Used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons licence

Syncopation by Mister Asta (Flickr) “from 1954’s “The First Book of Jazz” by Langston Hughes – illustrations by Cliff Roberts”.
Used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons licence

Reason for Adventure

I came across this great word in Above/Below by Stephanie Campisi and Ben Peek (to be more specific, in Above ) to describe the main character’s heart beat.AboveBelow-cover1-300x246

Dictionary.com Definitions/Origins

Pronunciation:
sing-kuhpey-shuhn, sin-kuh-pey-shuh n

Form:
noun

Definition:
1. Music. a shifting of the normal accent, usually by stressing the normally unaccented beats.
2. Something, as a rhythm or a passage of music, that is syncopated.
3. Also called counterpointcounterpoint rhythm. Prosody the use of rhetorical stress at
variance with the metrical stress of a 
line of verse, as the stress on and  and of  in
Come praise Colonus’ horsesand come praise/The wine-dark of the wood’s intricacies.
4. Grammar syncope.

World English Dictionary
1. Music
a. The displacement of the usual rhythmic accent away from a strong beat onto a weak beat
b. a note, beat, rhythm, etc, produced by syncopation
2. another word for syncope

Origin: 
1525-35;  < Medieval Latin syncopātiōn-  (stem of syncopātiō ), equivalent to Late Latin syncopāt
us (see syncopate) + -iōn- -ion

Related forms:
non·syn·co·pa·tion, noun

Sources:

syncopation. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved June 09, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/syncopation

syncopation. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved June 09, 2014, from Dictionary.com website:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/syncopation

Online Etymology Dictionary Information

syncopation (n.)1530s, “contraction of a word by omission of middle sounds,” from Medieval Latin syncopationem (nominative syncopatio) “a shortening or contraction,” from past participle stem of syncopare “to shorten,” also “to faint away, to swoon,” from Late Latin syncope (see syncope). Musical sense is attested from 1590s.

Source:

Harper, D. (2014). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved June 09, 2014 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=syncopation&allowed_in_frame=0

 

Collective Nounitude: Zombies

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Zombies

Zombie Apocalypse by  Joe-Roberts (DeviantART) used with artist's permission. Check out more of his work at joeroberts.co.uk

Zombie Apocalypse by Joe-Roberts (DeviantART) used with artist’s permission. Check out more of Joe’s work on his website: joeroberts.co.uk

Most Common:

A Horde of Zombies

(this wasn’t the most common in my searches, but from my experience “zombie horde” is commonly used in books/movies/TV so is the one most people would use/think of and since this isn’t a very official collective noun and a couple of people in forums also agree with horde, I’m sticking with it :P)

Alternatives:

A Stagger of Zombies

A Moan of Zombies

A Shamble of Zombies

A Thriller of Zombies

A Shuffle of Zombies

An Apocalypse of Zombies

A Plague of Zombies

A Splatter of Zombies

A Shudder of Zombies

A Hunger of Zombies

A Reek of Zombies

A Shaun of Zombies (Ha!)

A Lurch of Zombies

A Fondness of Zombies

A Zeppelin of Zombies
(well, that’s a terrifying thought!)

A Rotting of Zombies

A Copse of Zombies

A Morgue of Zombies

A Scourge of Zombies

A Death of Zombies

A Sizwe Dhlomo of Zombies
(I had to look this guy up to see why this makes sense/is funny. Apparently he’s a radio/TV presenter and businessman in Africa but I have no idea why someone thought his name would be a good collective noun for zombies O.O)

A Graveyard of Zombies

A Scathe of Zombies

A Stumble of Zombies

A Munch of Zombies

A Chuckle of Zombies

A Bloodthirst of Zombies

An Implacable of Zombies

A Scrum of Zombies

A Decomposition of Zombies

A Shawn of Zombies
(someone already beat you to it guy – and with the right spelling :P)

A Simonpegg of Zombies
(lots of Shaun of the Dead love in the world of collective nouns for zombies!)

A Romero of Zombies

A Swoon of Zombies

A Stench of Zombies

A Brains Trust of Zombies

A Fester of Zombies

A Daze of Zombies

A Shaaamo of Zombies
(I also had to look this one up and I still have no idea what it’s meant to mean…)

A Vexation of Zombies
(I love this one because it sounds like what proper Victorian ladies/gentlemen would pick for a collective noun – “Oh my, these undead are rather vexing aren’t they? Not at all seemly and they do ruin ones tea break most awfully” – plus it comes from this fantastic poster of Supernatural Collective Nouns which has so many rippers!)

My suggestions:

Man, there are so many good suggestions I don’t know if I can come up with any more!

Here goes nothing:

A Herd of Zombies

A Nom of Zombies

A Knash of Zombies

A Void of Zombies
(this may be my fave suggestion because it makes me think of creepy empty eyes, with matching empty brains, plus I know if zombies were a reality I would certainly be avoiding them :P)

Zombies RAR by seandunkley used with artist's permission. Check out more of Sean's work on his Tumblr page - http://seandunkley.tumblr.com/

Zombies RAR by seandunkley (DeviantART) used with artist’s permission. Check out more of Sean’s work on his Tumblr page – seandunkley.tumblr.com

 Reason for choice:

Mainly curiosity, but also because I’ve been reading The Living Dead zombie anthology a lot, and watching The Walking Dead on Tuesdays 🙂

A bunch of different zombie stories by different authors? What's not to love?

Sources:

collectivenoun.co.uk

all-sorts.org

Wiktionary

Wondermark
(home of the Supernatural Collective Nouns poster 🙂 )

timkanebooks.com
(stumble of zombies, but also has some other great suggestions for horror creatures)

Adventures in Etymology: Dyscalculia

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Dyscalculia

Reason for Adventure

This is an Adventure in Etymology that comes purely from my day-to-day non-reading life. One of my Facebook friends (and a Book of Faces Bookbagger!) introduced me to the word, and the knowledge that there is a learning disability for numbers and maths as dyslexia is to words and letters. As I’ve never been great with maths I right away connected with the word, plus it’s a fantastic sounding word – very Latin 😛 – so perfect for this feature.

Dictionary.com Definitions/Origins

Pronunciation:
dis-kal-kyoo-lee-uh

Form:
noun

Definition:
1. acalculia. (Dictionary.com based on Random House Dictionary)

2. severe difficulty in making simple mathematical calculations, due to cerebral disease or injury (Collins English Dictionary)

3.  Impairment of the ability to solve mathematical problems, usually resulting from brain
dysfunction. (The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary)

Origin: 
1950–55; dys- + calcul(ate) + -ia

Sources:

dyscalculia. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dyscalculia

dyscalculia. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from Dictionary.com website:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dyscalculia

dyscalculia. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from Dictionary.com website:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dyscalculia

Online Etymology Dictionary Information

dys-
word-forming element meaning “bad, ill, abnormal,” from Greek dys-, inseparable prefix “destroying the good sense of a word or increasing its bad sense” [Liddell and Scott], “bad, hard, unlucky,” from PIE root (and prefix) *dus- “bad, ill, evil” (cf. Sanskrit dus-, Old Persian duš- “ill,” Old English to-, Old High German zur-, Gothic tuz- “un-“), a derivative of *deu- “to lack, be wanting” (cf. Greek dein “to lack, want”). Very productive in ancient Greek, where it could attach even to proper names (e.g. dysparis “unhappy Paris”); its entries take up nine columns in Liddell and Scott. Among the words formed from it were some English might covet: dysouristos “fatally favorable, driven by a too-favorable wind;” dysadelphos “unhappy in one’s brothers;” dysagres “unlucky in fishing;” dysantiblepos “hard to look in the face.”

calculate (v.)
1560s, “to compute, to estimate by mathematical means,” from Latin calculatus, past participle of calculare “to reckon, compute,” from calculus (see calculus). Meaning “to plan, devise” is from 1650s. Replaced earlier calculen (mid-14c.), from Old French calculer. Related: Calculable.

*As Dyscalculia wasn’t listed this was the closest I could get*

Source:

Harper, D. (2014). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved March 24, 2014 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=calculate&allowed_in_frame=0

Harper, D. (2014). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved March 24, 2014 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=dys-&allowed_in_frame=0

For more information on Dyscalculia go to www.dyscalculia.org 🙂

Collective Nounitude: Swans

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Swans

The Wild Swans by kelleybean86 (DeviantART) used with artist's permission Check out more of her beautiful art at kmcmorris.com

The Wild Swans
by kelleybean86 (DeviantART) used with artist’s permission
Check out more of her beautiful art at kmcmorris.com

Most Common:

A Bevy of Swans

Alternatives:

A Wedge of Swans (flying in a V)

A Bank of Swans (on the ground)

A Drift of Swans

A Eyrar of Swans

A Flight of Swans

A Game of Swans

A Herd of Swans

A Lamentation of Swans

A Sownder of Swans

A Team of Swans

A Whiting of Swans

A Whiteness of Swans

A Squadron of Swans

A Moron of Swans (not from a swan fan obviously :/)

 a Taleb of swans (Ha! It’s ballet backwards!….except spelt wrong..)

A Serenity of Swans

A Neck of Swans

A Pen of Swans

A Grace of Swans

An Elegance of Swans

A Lake of Swans

A Glide of Swans

A Bottleneck of Swans

My suggestions:

An Ugly Duckling of Swans (for a group of awkward signets)

A Float of Swans

A Hiss of Swans

Swans Finals Campaign by Bojan1558 (DeviantART) used with artist's permission

Swans Finals Campaign
by Bojan1558 (DeviantART) used with artist’s permission

Reason for choice:

Reading Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde, where the characters often mention giant, carnivorous swans 😛shadesofgrey

Sources:

Wikipedia

rinkworks.com

collectivenoun.co.uk

all-sorts.org

Collective Nounitude: Rats

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Rats

Rats by winterlest (DeviantART) used with artist's permission

Rats
by winterlest (DeviantART) used with artist’s permission

Most Common:

A Colony of Rats

Alternatives:

A Horde of Rats

A Mischief of Rats

A Pack of Rats

A Plague of Rats

A Swarm of Rats

 A Gargle of Rats

A Tattletale of Rats

My suggestions:

A Skitter of Rats

A Squeak of Rats

A Wave of Rats

A Society of Rats

Three super-cute beige rat babies by Kristen Ankiewicz (aka artmonstergirl - Flickr) used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons Licence

Three super-cute beige rat babies by Kristen Ankiewicz (aka artmonstergirl – Flickr) used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons Licence

Reason for choice:

Reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman which has a whole underground society of rats, and a race which reveres them called the Rat-Speakers. Plus there’s a nice rat picture on the cover 🙂neverwhere

Sources:

Rinkwords.com

www.hintsandthings.co.uk

collectivenoun.co.uk

all-sorts.org 

Adventures in Etymology: Oleaginous

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Oleaginous

Oily, snowy, slushy puddle by Moi of Ra (Flickr) used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons License

Oily, snowy, slushy puddle by Moi of Ra (Flickr) used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons License

Reason for Adventure

This fantastic word was in Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman describing the voice of a particularly slimy character.Neverwhere (1)

Dictionary.com Definitions/Origins

Pronunciation:
oh-lee-aj-uh-nuhs

Form:
adjective

Definition:

1. Having the nature or qualities of oil.
2. Containing oil.
3. Producing oil.
4. Unctuous; fawning; smarmy.

Origin: 
1625–35;  < Latin oleāginus  of the olive, derivative of olea olive

Related forms:
o·le·ag·i·nous·ness, noun

Source:
oleaginous. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved November 06, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/oleaginous

Online Etymology Dictionary Information

oleaginous (adj.) 1630s, from French oléagineux (14c.), from Latin oleaginus “of the olive,” from olea “olive,” alteration of oliva (see olive) by influence of oleum “oil.”

Source:

Harper, D. (2012). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved November 06, 2013 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=oleaginous&allowed_in_frame=0

Collective Nounitude: Ghosts

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Ghosts

Jelly Ghosts by ~Whimsnicole (DeviantART) used with artist's permission

Jelly Ghosts by ~Whimsnicole (DeviantART) used with artist’s permission

Most Common:

A Fraid of Ghosts

Alternatives:

A Fright of Ghosts

A Haunt of Ghosts

A Haunting of Ghosts

A Scream of Ghosts

A Spook of Ghosts

A Whoooooooooo of Ghosts (hehe)

A Boo of Ghosts

A Spookle of Ghosts

A Preternature of Ghosts

My suggestions:

A Shiver of Ghosts (this suggestion is actually from my workmate, Lewis)

A Wisp of Ghosts

A Wraith of Ghosts

An Unfinished Business of Ghosts

It still haunted her by rustymermaid (DeviantART) used with artist's permission

It still haunted her by rustymermaid (DeviantART) used with artist’s permission

Reason for choice:

Being borderline obsessed with the Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane 😛

Sources:

collectivenoun.co.uk

all-sorts.org