Saturday, February 23, 2008

word du jour

Punk.Puncture. Punctual. Punctuate.


The man grinding the coffee beans is not in uniform. As a concession to the demands of his job he has pasted a Coffee Day sticker on his breast pocket.

Will it wash away? For how many days will he wear that red checked shirt? How many stickers does he have? Will each of his shirts have a sticker on the breast pocket?


Falstaff said...

Oh, come on. Who cares whether the guy is in uniform or not. Aren't you being a tad punctilious?

Space Bar said...

falsie: a stickler maybe; i'm punctilious only with people i know slightly.

(but damn, i missed that one! thanks!)

Falstaff said...

SB: You're welcome. you know, I just looked up punc- in the OED. Such a bewildering array of words, half of which I'd never heard of. (My favorite ones being punctiuncle, which means an extremely minute or trifling point but sounds like a prickly fastidious relative; and punctuary, which means relating to the pointing of Hebrew scripture, but sounds like a stuck up insurance clerk. Also punctuatim, which I'm now dying to use). Dictionaries are such fascinating yet humbling things.

Space Bar said...

falstaff: i love punctuatim. what does it mean? 'to report punctuation exactly as it was in the original'?

i know what you mean about dictionaries. they're the sum of all knowledge, if one only knew what one wanted to say. would we know to say new things if we spent a few hours every day reading a dictionary? would anyone understand us if we did?

Falstaff said...

SB: Yes, that's one meaning. More generally it's "Point for point; with exact agreement in every point or detail."