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Word of the Day – Thrawn

It has been used to describe Andy Murray.

In fact I used it to describe him below.

It’s a Scots word which is really a description of a type of person who can have many attributes but not necessarily all of them. So if someone is stubborn, withdrawn, uncommunicative, perverse, contrary, wary, dour, suspicious or circumspect they could be described as thrawn.

I’d maybe add sullen and dry to that list. Physically, I imagine a thrawn individual to usually be slim or skinny and often tall with a slow deliberate gait. There is no logic to this other than to say that’s my perception.

It’s appropriate that thrawn is a Scots word because there are many thrawn individuals here.

Not to be confused with the phrase thrawn the baby oot wi’ the bathwater.

Word of the day

Hubris means extreme haughtiness, pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.

The adjective form of hubris is “hubristic”

Hubris, though not specifically defined, was a legal term and was considered a crime in classical Athens. It was also considered the greatest crime of ancient Greek society.

Keep that definition in your mind and think what is happening in Greece. The IMF, The European Commission and the European Central Bank would now seem to run the country. Last night’s agreement by their parliament to yet more austerity measures so that Greece can borrow more money to pay off an instalment of the loans they already have would seem to stave off the evil hour for another wee while.

But will it?

As the decision was taken, there were full scale riots taking place on the streets of Athens.

Unemployment is now over 20% with youth unemployment at 48%. Over 25% of Greeks are already adjudged to be living in poverty.

Is there anyone left on this earth who thinks that the Greeks will not default? Does Angela Merkel really think that this latest vote will mean that the curtain is set to fall on the Greek tragedy?

Of course she doesn’t. In fact she some time ago resigned herself to a Greek default and them leaving the Eurozone. She believes that Germany can take the hit and that, despite all the public statements to the contrary, is all that matters to her. It looks from a distance that she is now trying to engineer that very outcome by placing unsustainable pressure on the Greek government.

The latest flurry of activity centres on austerity measures of £320 million. In the scheme of the eurozone crisis that is a very small sum indeed to be staking a country’s future on.

It actually seems a bit unfair for Cameron to be tarred with the narrow self interest brush. He at least was honest that all the bail outs and agreements are an unworkable pile of shit.

The rest seem to be going along with an elaborate window dressing arrangement so that when, not if, Greece defaults they can say “Ah well we did all we could”.

If, by some unforeseen miracle, Greece doesn’t default and manages to actually implement the latest austerity measures (Recent history is not on the side of this scenario), they will have accepted into Greek law, measures which cannot change for a generation.

The category of acts constituting hubris for the ancient Greeks apparently broadened from the original specific reference to mutilation of a corpse, or a humiliation of a defeated foe, or irreverent “outrageous treatment” in general. It often resulted in fatal retribution or Nemesis. Atë, ancient Greek for “ruin, folly, delusion,” is the action performed by the hero or heroine, usually because of his or her hubris, or great pride, that leads to his or her death or downfall.

Ireland will be watching.

Proper noun……or adjective?

I’m guessing proper noun because surely no-one would be so scrupulously honest with an Ebay listing if the adjective did apply to the item!

There are of course two spellings of the word and I remember posting previously about one chap who probably goes through life completely untroubled by his name.

This is because he doesn’t live in west central Scotland.


Those who are perhaps at a loss to understand, should discreetly click here.

Lookin’ for my mojo

Four for a penny (a long time ago)

A wee sensation

Tinfoil Hat Time

Word of the day: Verisimilitude – the ring of truth.

Check out this post from the ‘European Union Times’ and see how it stacks up on the verisimilitude front. Not much? thought so.

I had a laugh when I read a friend’s posting about this on Facebook and he commented that it was time for the tinfoil hat. The tinfoil hat is the number 1 fashion accessory for unemployed conspiracy theorists around the world. The idea is that if you wear one, then your brain is not susceptible to those radiated messages that the government sends out to control us (a bit like a kind of invisible Fox News).

I thought it might be a good subject for a song, but surely this one can’t be bettered:

Keich!

This guy is probably blisfully unaware how fortunate he is not to have been brought up, or resident, in Scotland.

Word of the Day – Phenomenon

“The reason the lino factories in Kirkcaldy all closed was that people couldn’t ask for ‘a roll of linoleum’. They’d say ‘a lole of ninoneum’ or ‘a nole of limomeom’ and then they’d say ‘fuck it just give me a carpet!’
(Billy Connolly)
PHENOMENON is the most mispronounced word in the English language, according to a new survey.

It came top in a study of words that Britons struggle to get their tongue round, with people mixing up the letters m and n on a regular basis.

Second place was anaesthetist, which causes problems due to the proximity of the -th to the two letters t at the end.

Remuneration, which is often mispronounced as renumeration, came in third.

The fourth most difficult word to pronounce, according to the 3,000 people polled, was statistics, with its repeats of the letters t and s. Ethnicity, which is awkward because the n follows a -th, is at five. Philosophical came sixth, followed by provocatively at seven and anonymous at eight. Thesaurus and aluminium completed the top ten.

A spokesman for Spinvox – a voicemail to text message service – which carried out the research, said: “Many words are difficult to say and when we struggle to pronounce a word correctly it makes us self-conscious about the way we speak.

“A word one person finds easy to say may be difficult for the next person. Although it’s worrying that some people find basic words such as February difficult to say.”

Word of the Day – Tontine

The tontine is named after Lorenzo Tonti, a Neapolitan banker who started such a scheme in France in 1653, though it has been said that they were known in Italy earlier. Each subscriber paid a sum into the fund, and in return received dividends from the capital invested; as each person died his share was divided among all the others until only one was left, reaping all the benefits. In the original scheme, the capital reverted to the state when the last subscriber died, so it was really a kind of national lottery. The idea was taken up enthusiastically in France and later in Britain and the USA; it was used to fund buildings and other public works. (There are still several hotels and other buildings in Britain and the USA with the word in their names.) Later there were private schemes in which the last survivor got the capital as well. Tontines were eventually banned in Britain and the USA, because there was too much incentive for subscribers to bump each other off to increase their share of the fund, or to become the last survivor and so claim the capital. For that reason, it’s a wonderful plot device for detective story writers, who can use it as a motive for serial murder; it was the theme of The Wrong Box by Robert Louis Stevenson and his stepson Lloyd Osbourne in 1889 (made into a film in 1966). The concept survives in a limited way in France. (source world wide words)

imperial hotel

This is the Imperial Hotel in Helensburgh which originally was called the Tontine Inn because of the way the ownership was made up in the early 19th century. I will also be turning my attention at some stage to Renton FC who blazed a trail for Scottish Football in its early days and played at Tontine Park.

I found a poem on the subject HERE which I enjoyed. The poem is by someone called ‘paraglider’. The opening lines are:

Newton Stewart was where they gathered,
in a legal-smelling office.
Twenty gentlemen of standing,
every one of them a father
of a son a year or younger
(stipulated by the lawyer
in the curious undertaking
of administering the Tontine).
Every father gave a thousand,
twenty thousand pounds in total,
a considerable fortune
in the days of Queen Victoria.

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