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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

So That's How This Can Be Right

http://reflectionsfromthebellcurve.blogspot.com/2011/06/can-this-be-right.html

Ever since publishing the above in late June of 2011 - the year I began blogging - I've reserved this date each year to re-visit my reflections on words that never sounded right to me. And reading Mark Forsyth's geeky book "The Etymologicon" (2011) early in 2015 inspired me to initiate a winter edition of my series called "Can This Be Right?"

But my list of previously befuddling words - which was long enough to last until June 14 2030 - has suddenly lost much of its mystique. Blame Dr. Anne Curzan, the lecturer for "The Secret Life of Words", my most recent purchase from the Great Courses series by the Teaching Company. With each subsequent lecture, I'm less bemused by English words that used to have me scratching my head. Looking at the first three words on that list - the ones I'd planned to have fun with today - all of them, thanks to Dr. Curzan, are now completely intelligible.

Given the fun I've had with "Can This Be Right?" - and some of the comments I've received on the seven iterations of it - I'm a little wistful letting it go. But I had an inkling the series had run its course when I recently heard myself using "prosaic" in a sentence, correctly. Thanks, Dr. Curzan, I think.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you will share some of the explanations that you've learned from the Great Course....I'll miss "Can this be right?"

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