More word play

A couple of threads this week have got me thinking, always a dangerous pastime!

One is about words and their pronounciation, and why.

The word that caught my eye is "executor".

Presumably so named as they "execute" the wishes of the deceased as expressed in their will: so why is it pronounced "ex-eck-ya-ter", and not "ex-e-cute-or"?

The other one is where a transposition error makes an equally valid word, often with diametrically opposite meaning to that intended.

The word here was "complaint", but accidently typed as "compliant" - two words that don't sit well together!

I was wondering about other examples?

 

Comments
Old Greying Accountant's picture

ha ha ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... good thread for a typo, and I  can't edit the OP. If Henry want's to feel free - Shirley, I wasn't talking about a Yorkshireman going to a famous Belgian first world war site and just forgot t' apostrophe!

Not used to being up this early, certainly not and having to think too!

ShirleyM's picture

Puzzled!

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

 - Shirley, I wasn't talking about a Yorkshireman going to a famous Belgian first world war site and just forgot t' apostrophe!

Not used to being up this early, certainly not and having to think too!

Explain, please, cos ah dunt naw wot yer on abart :)

My brain isn't in gear yet ... but I have hopes it will get there before the day is out!

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Typres ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... I meant typed, not t' Ypres! - wake up gel!

ShirleyM's picture

Haha

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I think I am going blind, as well as senile!

I never even noticed it :)

johnjenkins's picture

Just shows

johnjenkins | | Permalink

that people don't actually read and digest what is posted. No offence Shirley, I also thought OGA had finally lost it and joined the rest of us.

Constantly Confused's picture

I always thought it was amusing

Constantly Confused | | Permalink

that in olden times you were presumably killed by the same person who then took care of your estate :)

Henry Osadzinski's picture

Fixed :-)

Henry Osadzinski | | Permalink

I was tempted to leave it given the irony but have fixed the typo :-)

I love the complaint / compliant comparison - I'm going to have to think about other similar examples as it's a fun observation!

With regards to the pronunciation question, however, there may be a slightly more boring answer. Most words (there are, as ever, irritating exceptions) are pronounced in a way the provides the speaker's vocal system with the least amount of resistance. This is why words like "yeah" grew out of "yes" as we lazy-tongued speakers found that meaning could still be communicated without having to go to the effort of producing the final sound. For "executor" it follows the standard stress patter found in English where a weak first sound is followed by a stronger syllable. It's simply "easier" to say it this way than focus on producing a stressed syllable at the start.

OGA, if you enjoy word games, I have a puzzle that drove everyone in my class mad and still keeps me awake some nights. Try to think of two "true" synonyms - totally different words that mean exactly the same thing. After 5 years, all I can come up with are "gorse" and "furze" and they're hardly common words!

johnjenkins's picture

you

johnjenkins | | Permalink

could have a lot of fun with currants. What was that sentence where you moved the comma to create 3 or 4 different meanings?

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I'll have to think about that ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... but lead me to ponder (although I think I mentioned this on an earlier words thread) of words that mean to opposite of how they sound - my favourite being salubrious, which to me should be akin to seedy, sleazy, sordid and squalid!

Another is turgid, which given its similarity to torpid, sounds like it should mean similar to languid and sluggish.

Thanks for (sort of) fixing the typo (needs a "d" not an "s" :o) ), I think later posts are clear enough to not confuse anyone (except may be Shirley - lol).

 

 

ShirleyM's picture

Now now OGA!!!

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I've managed to wake up a tiny part of my brain ... and I spotted the post that kicked this off with the 'compliant' being typed instead of 'complaint'.

ps. I hope you don't start inspecting all my posts because I seem to specialise in 'putting my foot in it', and I am fairly good at malapropisms, so you may find a few of those!

Henry .. your word game will keep me occupied all day! Once someone sets me off on a challenge that interests me, then I can't think about anything else for ages!!!! :(   Can I send you the bill for someone to do my work for me while I am playing????

johnjenkins's picture

What about

johnjenkins | | Permalink

centre and middle. I know I'm goig to get rapped on this one. Device and thingamejig.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Shirley ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... you sound more Hilda Ogden (with her murial) than Nora Batty!

Henry Osadzinski's picture

Fixed 2: Fixed Harder    1 thanks

Henry Osadzinski | | Permalink

Got it this time - missed it on the first pass through. For all my geeking out over language, I'm a terrible proof-reader!

Old Greying Accountant's picture

John ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... I infuriate my son with pass me the whotsit so I can get the gubbins out of this, and then shouting at him NO!, the whotsit, not the doings, next to the watchamacallit, in front of the oojar!

He'll learn, it seems to be genetic as my father and grandfather were the same!

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Henry ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... excellent, you are on form today, very subtle!

ShirleyM's picture

hehe ... I must try 'harder', too ;)

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Shame on you OGA!!!!!!!!!

I am a Yorkshire lass, and proud of it! How dare you say I am like a Lancastrian! I'll stick with Nora Batty, thanks ;)

Old Greying Accountant's picture

As I said elsewhere ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... once you get past Watford Gap it's all the same to me - lol

You'll be pleased we beat the toffee men last night then though :o) (or is that Cheshire, never quite sure, my map just says "here be dragons"!)

ShirleyM's picture

OGA - haven't you heard of ....

ShirleyM | | Permalink

The War of the Roses??????

The White Rose of York v the Red Rose of Lancaster?

Not that we hold grudges or live in the past (much!) .. but there is still a bit of competition between Yorkshire & Lancashire. I don't know why .. it's just something that's accepted as normal, for some reason!

But Yorkshire folk are very loyal to Yorkshire. Who wouldn't be? It is a glorious part of the country  :)

johnjenkins's picture

Correct me if I'm wrong

johnjenkins | | Permalink

but wasn't Lancashire and Yorkshire only a small part of the war. Anyway I prefered Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner being refereed by Dany De Vito.

ShirleyM's picture

Who really knows, John?

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Neither of us were there, so we have to rely on history being accurately documented. I found the following, which may be true, maybe not!

The White Rose was the symbol of Yorkist supporters who opposed the rival House of Lancaster, whose symbol was the Red Rose of Lancaster. The opposition of the two parties, symbolised by the red and white roses gave the wars their name - the Wars of the Roses. The Wars of the Roses ended with King Henry VII who started the Tudor dynasty and symbolically united the White and Red Roses to create the Tudor Rose.  

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Here's one for Sarah ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... I get fed up with being picked up as I say Glaz-gow, whereas all and sundry around me say Glars-gow.

However, I say C-lars wheras Shirley presumably says (is that sez or sayes) c-lass.

As a foreigner I can be more objective, and Shirley is right, overall, in my soft southern opinion Yorkshire is better (not least because of Betty's of York and Taylor's of Harrogate), especially the more north you go, but, I did find Clitheroe and the Forest of Bowland a wonderful place.

is that Cheshire...did you say?

jpcc1 | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... once you get past Watford Gap it's all the same to me - lol

You'll be pleased we beat the toffee men last night then though :o) (or is that Cheshire, never quite sure, my map just says "here be dragons"!)

 

Actually your toffee men are in the County Palatine of Lancaster, whereas Cheshire is part of the County Palatine of Chester. Don't you know your eleventh centry political geography?

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I may be old and greying ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... but not that ... - lol

I did a Google search but as Liverpool a metroploitan district now it wan't much use, I just know the posh ones come from the Wirral which is I believe Cheshire so assume the Mersey is the boundary?

They are not "my" toffee men though, my boys in blue come from the Kings Road!

 

 

jpcc1 | | Permalink

 

You're not entirely correct on 21st century political geography either !

As I look out of the office window, (and it's just turned high tide) across the river I see "the dark side", Birkenhead, Wallasey etc.. Hardly posh and definitely not Cheshire!

Have you been to Liverpool lately? Perhaps you should come up for a weekend - it's a great place to visit! You could always tie it in with watching your boys in blue humiliated at Anfield (and I think that will be the penultimate game of the season - 5th May). And you might learn something about the North West.

But you may have a little difficulty with some of the pronunciation! (That was me trying to bring in some kind of relevance to the original posting!)

johnjenkins's picture

Weren't they lucky

johnjenkins | | Permalink

last night? Yes I'm a bit partial to vintage taylors.

@ShirleyM. Why is there a Yorky bar but no Lancy bar (please no puns) Pubs called Yorkshire grey but no Lancashire red. A Yorkshire terrier but not a lancashire doberman (not lassies). etc. etc.

ShirleyM's picture

You want me to educate you?

ShirleyM | | Permalink

John, I can't help you much with pub names ... but for dogs......

.... there's the Yorkshire terrier, and the Lancashire heeler, but naturally, Yorkies are more popular than heelers which is why everbody knows about Yorkies, but not heelers.

I can't explain why we don't have a Lancy bar ... maybe the Lancs people are even tighter than the Yorks people ????

Old Greying Accountant's picture

jpcc1

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

I haven't been up to Liverpool for best part of 20 years, i always enjoyed it though. I was amazed at the contrast, new modern building abiding side by side with derelict bomb craters.

We used to audit a well known delivery franchise and the original depot was not in the most salubrious area, when we stopped for a paper you had to lock the car and check the locking wheel nuts and you had to ask for everything down to a penny chew that would be passed through a small slit in the steel shutters around the counter (as everything was behind glass and steel) afte of course mone had changesd hands.

They moved later to the quays to some new industrial units that were very nice, but the accounts department then moved to Warrington.

My only other memories were on the "special" buses taking us from the charter train at Lime Street to Stanley Park and either Goodison or Anfield, oh the fun we had trying to spot the posh scouser (the one not in a shell suit - lol).

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Not being a woman ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... I prefer bakery provender to chocolate, CHELSEA buns being my favourite ( and our long gone local baker used to make them on site with sticky icing instead of sugar topping). 

You do get Chorley cakes though, and I have a secret fetish for Eccles cakes. (I love it that the border terrier in Corrie is called Eccles, a superb name for a dog in Manchester!).

Constantly Confused's picture

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

Constantly Confused | | Permalink

ShirleyM wrote:

Shame on you OGA!!!!!!!!!

I am a Yorkshire lass, and proud of it! How dare you say I am like a Lancastrian! I'll stick with Nora Batty, thanks ;)

 

Wooooo Yorkshire!

johnjenkins's picture

I bet you got an Arsenal of buns

johnjenkins | | Permalink

to Spur you on OGA and no doubt you eat them in a Palace or one of the Queens Parks. Still as long as you don't get Hammered.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Another pair of similar words sprang unbidden to mind ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... prostrate and prostate - Ah, I hear you say, problems with the latter can lead one to be the former!

(I really should stop doing cryptic crosswords!)

 

Old Greying Accountant's picture

A couple more pair

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

Try disparate and desparate

or

condensation and condescension 

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