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Take Our Word For It Issue 155  Melanie Crowley
 May 02, 2002 22:58 PDT 
Take Our Word For It Issue 155

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Yes, it's official, Thursday night is our publishing night.

**This Week's Issue**

NOTE: The links in this newsletter are good for May 2-May 9 only
(unless the next issue is delayed).

In Spotlight, we go where the wild things are

In Words to the Wise,we bring you the following words/phrases:

buck/butt naked



In Curmudgeons' Corner guestmudgeon Beverly Flach goes to the past in
the present...or something.

In Sez You... we discuss German doughnuts, hell bent for leather, irony
and classical plurals, input or inputted, a missed pun, and freeway

In Laughing Stock we show you a hostile hostel.

**Newsletter-Only Etymology (NOE)**

We went hiking this weekend, and we have a few leftover protein bars
sitting on one of our desks. One of them is called "Balance" (we prefer
"Banalance", if anything -- some of those bars are just awful!).    
Anyhow, seeing the word on the package made us go into etymology mode
immediately, deciding that "balance" would be a good word to discuss in
the NOE. Its etymology is quite neat and tidy: it comes from the Latin
"libra bilanx", which was the name of the weighing balance used in olden
times (and still used today), the device one sees held by
personifications of Justice (those personifications are also often
blindfolded). "Libra" means "scale", and "bilanx" means "two scales",
from "bi-" "two" and "lanx" "plate, pan". The scale came to be known
simply as a "bilanx" in Latin, and it is supposed that it changed, in
Vulgar Latin (Latin spoken "by the people") to "bilancia". Old French
took it as "balance", and that is exactly how English borrowed it and
has kept it since the 13th century.

**Laughing Stock**

We encourage you to send us funny photos, clippings or e-letters that
you run across, because if we use yours in Laughing Stock, you will win
a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com! Daniel Kelber has won this week.
We are behind on gift certificates again (but just by a couple of
weeks), so be patient!

**Curmudgeons' Corner**

You'll note an invitation in this week's CC to send us clippings
containing examples of bad English, similar to the example used in that
column. Send 'em in!


Dedicate an issue to a friend or loved one for a birthday, anniversary,
or any other occasion you choose. We just ask that you make a donation
to TOWFI (you choose the amount),and we'll insert your dedication
anywhere in the issue you choose to dedicate. Write to us at
melm-@takeourword.com for more information.

**Next Week**

See you May 9th!

Until next time,
Take Our Word For It!
Melanie and Mike

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