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Terminology - The Zotmeister

solving the puzzle of life one entry at a time

Oct. 20th, 2005

01:36 pm - Terminology

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As perhaps many of you have noticed, I sort of have my own way with the English language. I've spent the time to study it from a grammatical-structure point of view - not unlike how programmers would study a computer language - and I feel I have a very good grasp of the way it works: its nuances, its subtleties, its internal logic. As a result, when given an option, I choose the construction that I believe best fits that logic. For example, I tend to mix United States and United Kingdom versions of English, using whatever I think works better. I put all my non-quoted punctuation outside of quotation marks, but keep the U.S. single-/double-quote convention. Actually, I believe punctuation shouldn't be left to performing double duty, so when I'm quoting something that naturally calls for a period at its end, and my own sentence also ends there, I add another period outside the quotes.

But that's not quite what I'm here to type about. With the curious view I have of the language and the way it's used, I often find myself in the position of coining new words and/or redefining old ones, so that I can accurately express what I'm trying to say. You may have already noticed my gender-neutral pronouns; I had to devise the name of my fear; I invented the phrase "orthogonally radiant" for a set of puzzle instructions and just assumed readers would figure it out. I also find myself frequently privy to a bevy of inside jokes, which also spawn their own curious verbiage. Well, I figured it would be a decent idea to provide a glossary to explicate this varied terminology, especially since it gives me an excuse to use it here in the future and have something to point to if I'm misinterpreted:


Those are just a few terms that promptly come to mind; it is mere coincidence that they all start with 'b'. I will likely reinvoke this topic later, which may or may not proceed in alphabetical order. The comments box is officially open - perhaps those who know me personally can remind me of some other terms I can define later; perhaps all of you can think of some of your own you'd like to share with the class. - ZM

P.S.: My next puzzle, Block Party, should be arriving some random time this weekend.