Back in the game

Well, here I am, back in the swing of things, copy editing like a maniac. Unlike last summer where my subject matter was a little more technical, I’m coming across new things every day. Here are fun things I’ve learned just from doing my job in the past two weeks:

Sleeping Sea Bird

Look at him go!

  • Sea birds can fly while half-asleep. All they have to do is lock the bones in their wings so they can soar effortlessly.
  • This is comforting: 58.6 percent of interns get hired full-time, according to 2011 data.
  • Keep an eye on granola while baking. It burns easily. I learned this from experience after getting inspired by a story.

Those are just some randoms. I hope this job will make me better at Jeopardy! It’s my life-long goal to get better at answering Jeopardy! questions than my dad.

Also, I’m coming across so many new vocab words. I’m tempted to restart the ‘Word of the Day‘ feature of this blog, but I don’t want to bore you. Here are a few good ones:

  • ennui – boredom, dissatisfaction
  • ebullient – cheerful, full of energy
  • mellifluous – smooth, rich, flow
  • eponymous – related to a name
  • interred – entomb, bury in earth or sea
  • chorister – member of choir
  • onus – burden, obligation, blame
  • cognoscenti – (plural) people having expert knowledge in a field

These reporters have great vocabularies! Let’s just say that Merriam and Webster are my two new best friends.

Word of the Day: homograph

HOMOGRAPH

Why didn’t I learn this term in high school? We learned everything from ‘synonym’ to ‘onomatopoeia’ but not ‘homograph.’

When Dictionary.com posted it as their word of the day on Jan. 23, I shrugged it off. Why explore this word? Doesn’t everyone know this?

Little did I know that ‘homograph’ is a subcategory of ‘homonym,’ the word we always learned about. Ever since elementary school, I’ve been taught that ‘homonym’ means ‘words that sound the same but have different meanings.’ This is correct, but there are three kinds of homonyms that were never mentioned.

Homophones

It’s easier to remember the words by analyzing the Greek origins. ‘Homo,’ from the Greek ‘homos,’ means ‘the same.’ ‘Phone’ means ‘sound.’ Therefore, homophones are words that sound the same. They may or may not be spelled differently. These words have different meanings despite sounding the same.

Example: there and their

Homographs

‘Graph,’ derived from the Greek ‘graphos,’ means ‘drawn or written.’ Therefore, the word means something spelled the same way but has a different meaning. It may or may not have the same pronunciation.

Examples: evening (smoothing out) and evening (after sunset), present (gift) and present (now)    Here are more examples from DailyWritingTips.com.

Heteronyms

Heteronyms are homographs that definitely have different pronunciations.

Example: desert (abandon) and desert (as in Sahara)

As you can see, the words are all connected. Heteronyms are homographs. Homographs are homophones. And they are all homonyms.

Here’s a graph found on DailyWritingTips.com credited to Wikipedia.

It took me more than 20 minutes to comprehend all this information. If someone asked me the difference, I’d probably take a few minutes to re-figure it out. I think I’ll stick the the generic term ‘homonym.’

Also, the ‘homonym’ Wikipedia page presents an interesting graph if you have a few minutes to study it.

Word of the day: intrepid

INTREPID

After mistaking my “insipid” post for “intrepid,” my friend Alexandra inspired me to write this blog post.

Not only does intrepid mean “resolute fearlessness, fortitude, and endurance,” according to Merriam-Webster, but it’s the name of friend Tony Lee‘s upcoming publication.

Here is a news article about it from The Bona Venture. I plan on posting an editorial about it soon, so that’s why I wrote this little post. It’s an introduction for what’s to come.

Word of the day: fecundity

FECUNDITY

The university is threatening to close school tomorrow! Apparently, there’s a huge storm coming this way. If class are canceled, I have plans to go sledding. But if classes aren’t canceled, I’ll still have to go to my Sex, Relationships and Reproductive Systems class (“Sex” for short).

During class, a classmate wrote “fertility v. fecundity” in her notebook in loopy cursive. I thought that I missed that part in the lecture, so I wrote it down too. I would look it up later, I told myself.

So I did, and the subject is hard to understand at first. Fecundity and fertility are confusing, and their meanings are often switched, depending on who uses the terms.

After browsing through a few science sites, I learned that, demographically,  fertility represents the output of reproduction. Fecundity represents the ability to reproduce.

Blog of Science uses this example: “In a population of 26 year old human females, 95% might be physiologically capable of giving live birth, while perhaps only 10% might actually have a baby that year.” Fecundity would correlate with the first figure and fertility with second.

For more information, visit this site. It helped me in this post.

Word of the day: aether

AETHER

I have a quiz tomorrow so I’m studying while watching TV. I’m learning about the great scientists who focused on theories about the universe. Those included Plato, Aristotle and Copernicus.

The study sheet says that Aristotle believed in the five elements. The five elements? I thought there were only four. Earth, Fire, Water and Air.

The five element is Aether. Upon looking it up, I learned it was a conceptual medium, according to Wikipedia. In Greek mythology, it was know as the upper sky.

So when looking at this model, I think the ‘aether’ would be the ‘celestial region.’

Wish me luck on my quiz!

Word of the day: deduce v. deduct

DEDUCE v. DEDUCT

Sorry my past few posts have been tiny. I start writing and then realize I don’t really have anything to say.

I’ve had a lot of fun this weekend, going ice skating with friends, driving home to rehearse for my high school’s musical and double dating at the Skeller. For a few minutes today, I studied for my Natty quiz scheduled for Tuesday. I learned about deductive reasoning within the scientific method. I know, stuff we learned in middle school, but I have to know it. This stuff is really boring.

I was thinking about how I should write about it on the quiz. Should I deduct from an experiment, or should I deduce from an experiment? I turned to the internet.  Google showed me that ‘deduct’ means to subtract. ‘Deduce’ would be the word I would use.

Word of the day: rubicon

RUBICON

Although Pete suggested I use ‘lackluster’ as my word of the night, I’m not. He thought my post last night (enormity) involved no effort. So instead, I’m writing about rubicon – “a bounding or limiting line; especially : one that when crossed commits a person irrevocably.”

So this might be another lackluster post. My friends are here and I have to go! Bye!