Wednesday, March 23, 2011

coming and going

Words and word-nerds come and go.  Today is a red-letter day on both counts:  Amelia Slawsby sent me this link about the first spelling bee winner:

First national spelling bee winner dies at 97

Frank Neuhauser, who in 1925 won the first U.S. national spelling bee with the word "gladiolus," has died. He was 97.
AND....are you ready? Today is the 172nd birthday of the word "OK": You should read the post; it is actually very interesting (here's a teaser: OK originally stood for "oll korrect"), and there is a link to Google Ngrams worth looking at.
It is safe to say that whoever coined the phrase "OK" from Oll Korrect was not a spelling bee finalist. I was about to say that participants in any of the Dover Bees would have a ridiculously easy time spelling gladiolus, but then found my fingers hesitating's trickier than it looks.  I think we might have to add that to the list for next time...

Friday, March 11, 2011

She? Oui!

Visual Thesaurus posted an article today about the origin of the word "she". At first I thought it was ridiculous, because, really, why would that be a separate discussion from the origin of the word "he"? Turns out it is. And we did not have "she" until the 1100s!

I'd heard of the French land of Oc and land of Oui, but apparently English boasts a land of She, or at least a map of where it took hold first. 

Check out this fascinating essay, and take nothing for granted!