Xah's Belles-lettres Blog Archive 2014-01 to 2014-02

Vocabulary: tween, fettered

learned a new word today: tween

A simple Twitter search reveals thousands of teens and tweens with accounts and handles dedicated to their favorite famous “friends.” It's easy for them to think of celebrities as at least potential friends, after all. Where previous generations might pine over posters on their bedroom walls or write mushy love letters to a generic fan mail address, teens today have direct and almost unfettered access to their idols thanks to Twitter. Through the platform, teens can broadcast their thoughts not only to friends, family, and virtual peers, but to celebrities and public figures. (To a lesser extent, Instagram and Facebook serve this purpose as well.)

from 〔 The Psychology of Begging to Be Followed on Twitter By Kayleigh Roberts. At http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/the-psychology-of-begging-to-be-followed-on-twitter/283947/

A tween is a person who is between the ages of 10 to 12 years old. The term is often described in popular media as referring to a preadolescent (usually female) who is at the “in-between” stage in their development when they are considered “too old for toys, too young for boys”. However, the word is older than its present use as an advertising gimmick. The word tween dates at least back to the late 1930s when J.R.R. Tolkien used it to describe that age of irresponsibility after teenage.

Tween (demographic)

see also:

(and I with both hands pinioned and both feet fettered) and was about to bandage my eyes before striking…

The First Kalandar's Tale

“O our lord Alaeddin, excuse us nor be thou wroth with us; for the King hath commanded that we carry thee before him pinioned and fettered, and we hope pardon from thee because we are under the royal orders which we cannot gainsay.”

Aladdin: Moving of the Pavilion

If this be so, whatever may be left for our unfettered volitions is of little value.

Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization? (Bertrand Russell)

Google Glass Dating, and History in Downton Abbey

a word i learned from watching 〈Hunger Games Catching Fire〉 Buy at amazon.

spile ① a peg or plug of wood, esp. one used as a spigot ② a spout for conducting sap from the sugar maple.

for the ♥ ♥ ♥ occasion the Story of Cupid and Psyche

apostrophe should be ban'd

in recent half-a-year, am beginning to think that apostrophe should be ban'd.

and, just came upone this Wikipedia passage:

George Bernard Shaw, a proponent of English spelling reform on phonetic principles, argued that the apostrophe was mostly redundant. He did not use it for spelling cant, hes, etc. in many of his writings. He did, however, allow I'm and it's.[64] Hubert Selby, Jr. used a slash instead of an apostrophe mark for contractions and did not use an apostrophe at all for possessives. Lewis Carroll made greater use of apostrophes, and frequently used sha'n't, with an apostrophe in place of the elided “ll” as well as the more usual “o”.[65][citation needed] These authors' usages have not become widespread.

Over the years, the use of apostrophes has been criticised. George Bernard Shaw called them “uncouth bacilli”. In his book American Speech, linguist Steven Byington stated of the apostrophe that “the language would be none the worse for its abolition.” Adrian Room in his English Journal article “Axing the Apostrophe” argued that apostrophes are unnecessary and context will resolve any ambiguity.[67] In a letter to the English Journal, Peter Brodie stated that apostrophes are “largely decorative…[and] rarely clarify meaning”.[68] Dr. John C. Wells, Emeritus Professor of Phonetics at University College London, says the apostrophe is “a waste of time”.[67]

see also The Moronicities of Typography: Hyphen, Dash, Quotation Marks, Apostrophe

Those studying SAT, GRE, vocabularies: note that many such prep books add words from dictionary without much discretion. For example, words found in Shakespear will almost never show up in journalism. So, if you want to increase vocabulary, don't take the brute force approach of trying to memorize every word in dict, as i've done some 3 decades ago.

学习英文 SAT, GRE 的同学,注意,很多词汇书乱加字典里的字。好像莎士比亚的字,一辈子都不会在报章杂志上用到。背字一定要由浅入深。这有很多。是我学英文记下的。供参考。英语:词汇汇编与用法示例。

Wordy English: Vocabulary Compilation with Usage Examples

“Fie, fie, how franticly I square my talk”. What does that mean? See: FLATLAND: A Romance of Many Dimensions