Famous Quotes & Sayings

Ammon Shea Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 43 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Ammon Shea.

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Ammon Shea Quotes 1503226

Onomatomania (n.) Vexation at having difficulty in finding the right word. Finding a word that so perfectly describes a rather large portion of my everyday existence is one of the things that makes reading the dictionary feel like an intensely personal endeavor. The book is no longer merely a list of words; suddenly it is a catalog of the foibles of the human condition, and it is speaking directly to me. Of course, as soon as I learned this word I promptly forgot what it was, but this just provided me with the frustration of not being able to think of it, and then the satisfaction of once again finding it. also — Ammon Shea

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And for many of the other questions, the answers I received were cloaked in the sort of highly polished public relations vagueness that makes responses so measured and couched in nuance that they are essentially meaningless. — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 378523

The Verbalist, 1894 — Ammon Shea

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Heterodogmatize (v.) To have an opinion different from the one generally held. Just because you are in proud possession of opinions that differ from those of the majority of the population is no reason to start patting yourself on the back. Usually it just means you are wrong. also — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 874899

Mediocrist (n.) A person of mediocre talents. Nobody wants to be mediocre, but someone has to be. In fact, by definition, most people are. Microphily — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1094191

[U]se extreme caution, and please remember that 451 degrees Fahrenheit is more than just a book a title.... — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1929272

I find myself subject to the entire range of emotions and reactions that a great book will call forth from its reader. I chuckle, laugh out loud, smile wistfully, cringe, widen my eyes in surprise, and even feel sadness--all from the neatly ordered rows of words and their explanations. All of the human emotions and experiences are right here in this dictionary, just as they would be in any fine work of literature. They just happen to be alphabetized. — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 932887

I FEEL AS THOUGH I AM EATING the alphabet. Twenty-six courses of letters, each with its own distinctive flavor. It is inevitable that some letters will taste delicious, others not so much. Some will have a delicate flavor, others will be more like a hearty peasant stew. — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 493337

Vocabularian (n.) One who pays too much attention to words. In the past I have been accused by various parties of paying too much attention to words. Which is true, I suppose; but what else do I have to pay attention to? Vomiturient — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1214228

In the OED editors' defense, they have set out to accomplish something that is inherently impossible - to record the entirety of a language. It is only natural they should occasionally come across words that are virtually indefinable, or that have meanings that have been lost to the ages. Whatever failings or inconsistencies the editors may exhibit are certainly not for lack of effort. James Murray in particular was renowned for attempting to ferret out knowledge, writing letters to every authority he could think of and posting queries in newspapers begging for information on a word. When I read the definition of lege de moy ("App. the name of some dance") I cannot help but imagine that they must have spent a tremendous amount of time looking for the meaning and roots of this word before one of the editors finally threw his hands up in disgust and exclaimed, "What the hell - just say it's some kind of dance or something, and let's get to the pub." As — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 2113248

And so, there is something interesting about the word gove. The OED defines it as "to stare stupidly." So do Funk and Wagnalls, the Century Dictionary, and the Imperial Dictionary. In fact, every dictionary I have checked defines this word as "to stare stupidly" except for Webster's Third New International, which defines it as "to stare idly." I am quite sure that the fact that the editor of Webster's Third was named Gove had nothing to do with this decision. also — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1060696

Grimthorpe (v.) To restore or renovate an ancient building with excessive spending rather than with skill. Grimthorpe is a more or less eponymous word, taken from the title of Sir Edmund Beckett (the first Lord Grimthorpe), a lawyer and horologist in London, who also enjoyed attempting restorations of old buildings. His efforts did not meet with widespread approval, and gave birth to this word. Grinagog — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1509851

Sesquihoral (adj.) Lasting an hour and a half. Because sometimes you just don't feel like saying "an hour and a half." Short-thinker — Ammon Shea

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No one is yet using figuratively to mean literally; the confusion, such as it is, is all in one direction. — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1736359

It indicates possession for plural nouns, between the end of the plural word and the s that follows, as in children's. Except when the word ends in an s, in which case it should come at the end of the word, with no additional s added ("the books' covers"). — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1586955

The early dictionaries in English were frequently created by a single author, but they were small works, and not what we think of today as dictionaries. Robert Cawdrey's A Table Alphabeticall, published in 1604, is generally regarded as the first English dictionary. It was an impressive feat in many respects, but it contained fewer than 2,500 entries, the defining of which would not be a lifetime's work. This and the other dictionaries of the seventeenth century were mostly attempts to catalog and define "difficult words"; little or no attention was given to the nuts and bolts of the language or to such concerns as etymology and pronunciation. For — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1377706

Monodynamic (adj.) Having only a single talent. The technical word to describe a one-trick pony. Moreish — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 122244

Except when it didn't, as in the case of names that already end in an s, such as Jones' book (a practice that is now out of style). — Ammon Shea

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Surgically augmented breasts and a large vocabulary are two things that come to mind when I contemplate that which is showy and of little value, but I'm certain that you can think of others. also — Ammon Shea

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For the benefit of those half-dozen people who will see a name like Gwillim and put this book down in order to go look it up to see where it comes from - it is the Welsh version of William — Ammon Shea

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Induratize (v.) To harden the heart. Among the inevitabilities of old age are that the heart is hardened twice; first figuratively, through experience and loss, and then literally, in the form of atherosclerosis. — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 808878

One of the questions I hear most often regarding my plan to read the OED from cover to cover is "Why don't you just read it on the computer?" I usually respond as if the questions was "Why don't you just slump yourself on the couch and watch TV for the year?" which is not quite an appropriate reponse. It is not so much that I am anicomputer; I am resolutely and stubbornly pro-book. — Ammon Shea

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There can be funny moments during sad stories — Ammon Shea

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This almost never happens, outside of the realm of scientific terminology (which is obviously a domain populated by sadists with no regard for language). — Ammon Shea

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Anglo-Saxon tends not to lend itself to long and elaborate words that have strung together three or four affixes to create a rhetorical term for a very obscure thing. While — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1143532

Redeless (adj.) Not knowing what to do in an emergency. Redeless has a variety of meanings, but this is the one that speaks to me the most. In yet another case of the rare thing enjoying a common word and vice versa, it is interesting to note that redeless has largely (or entirely) fallen by the linguistic wayside, while savoir faire (which originally meant "knowing what to do in an emergency") has survived. Redonation — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1151250

Heterophemize (v.) To say something different from what you mean to say. Think back on all the things you've said in life that you truly wish you hadn't. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just claim afterward that you had been heterophemizing, and be instantly forgiven? Homodoxian — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1177450

Charientism (n.) A rhetorical term to describe saying a disagreeable thing in an agreeable way.

If I knew how to say disagreeable things in an agreeable fashion I most likely would not be spending most of my time siting alone in a room, reading the dictionary. — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1239428

. . .what does the computer know of the comforting weight of a book in one's lap? Or of the excitement that comes from finding a set of books, dusty and tucked away in the back corner of some store? The computer can only reproduce the information in a book, and never the joyful experience of reading it. — Ammon Shea

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The pessimist's nostalgia, deteriorism goes far beyond simply whining that things used to be better and takes the bold stance that the world is actively and energetically going to hell in a handbasket. also — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1397624

Rejoy has several meanings, the first two of which are somewhat noble, and more than somewhat boring. The third meaning, however, is probably the most applicable one for most people, as so many of us cannot seem to enjoy things unless we possess them. Which explains the existence of shopping malls. Remord — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1401738

Or we reference Winston Churchill, who was famously reported to have written "This is the kind of tedious/arrant nonsense up with which I will not put," in response to an overweening staffer having removed a preposition from some of his writing. (However, as with many quotes that are purported to have originated with the former prime minister of Great Britain, the author was someone other than Churchill).* — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1431273

Telephone books are, like dictionaries, already out of date the moment they are printed.... — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1504305

The first recorded use to date of OMG is from 1917, and reads in full "I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis - O.M.G. (Oh! My God!) - Shower it on the Admiralty!" The citation comes from a letter by one John Arbuthnot Fisher, who happens to have been the admiral in charge of the British navy (a position known as first sea lord), and was written to Winston Churchill, staunch defender of both the English people and their language. — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1669613

Yepsen (n.) The amount that can be held in two hands cupped together; also, the two cupped hands themselves. A measurement that has never really caught on like the teaspoon, the yepsen also falls firmly within the category of things for which you never thought there was a word - at least, not until some interfering busybody like me came along and told you what it was. Yesterneve — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1812527

The original meaning of dilapidate (from the Latin dilapidare, to squander) was to allow a building to fall into a state of disrepair. In New York dilapidators are simply known as landlords. also — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1847575

Hamartia (n.) The flaw that precipitates the destruction of a tragic hero. Hamartia is a noble word, with a fine history (the OED says also that it refers particularly to Aristotle's Poetics). If you have any decency or soul, please do not use this word to refer to your own weakness for something such as chocolate. also — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1934231

...Zachary winched a few more letters onto his last name and declared himself king of the Z aficionados. — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1951121

Silentiary (n.) An official whose job it is to command silence. I would like to have my very own silentiary, someone I can bring to the library and to the apartment next door. Sitzfleisch — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 1994868

Repertitious has not had nearly the success in entering the language that serendipitous has had, most likely because its PR team isn't nearly as good. The noun form of the latter, serendipity, was made up in the 1750s by the novelist Horace Walpole, based on Serendip (a former name for Sri Lanka). Repertitious, on the other hand, has its first mention in Thomas Blount's dictionary of 1656. Writers - 1, lexicographers - 0. Resentient — Ammon Shea

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Along with tableity (the condition of being a table) and paneity (the state of being bread), cellarhood is a wonderful example of the spectacular ways English has of describing things that no ever thinks it necessary to describe. — Ammon Shea

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Among people who might be described as having at least a passing regard for the English language, there are few instances of usage that evoke a desire to mutilate more than the perceived misuse of literally. — Ammon Shea

Ammon Shea Quotes 2191225

TEXAN: "Where are you from?" HARVARD STUDENT: "I am from a place where we do not end our sentences with prepositions." TEXAN: "OK, where are you from, jackass?" - Variation on an old joke — Ammon Shea