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INFLAMMABLE

Nick: ‘Ah, yes, flammable and inflammable; also habitable and inhabitable. Something that can be set alight can be inflamed, hence it’s inflammable. Something that can be lived in can be inhabited, so it’s inhabitable. The INs are some sort of verbal activator (I’m sure the linguists have a term for this). The negatives are, properly, uninflammable and uninhabitable.’

☞ That’s telligible. Thanks.

Tom Cuddy: ‘Another favorite of mine: slim chance and fat chance mean the same thing.’

BATED

Joel: ‘Artie means ‘bated’ (as in abated, stopped or held) breath, not ‘baited breath.’ This one gets under my skin, as does ‘I could care less’ when what they really mean is ‘I couldn’t care less,’ meaning ‘I care so little that it would be impossible to care less than I now care.’ And ‘Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast’ when the quote is ‘Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast,’ or at least that’s pretty close. Breast, as in heart, not beast, as in nasty ol’ critter. Congreve wrote it, I believe.’

☞ I went back and changed baited to bated, and found this for Congreve. You were pretty close.

Mike Hanlon: ‘It’s ‘bated breath.’ Here‘s a very witty site that explains the whole thing. (For trivia buffs, straightdope.com is a gold mine!)’

☞ Yes! E.g.: ‘The truth about the boy with ‘two spiders living in his ear.

STUP-AM-I

Bruce Stephenson: ‘The other common words ending in ‘efy‘ are putrefy and stupefy . . . though Merriam-Webster lists 16 in total.’

☞ Well, I am stupefied . . . but it’s not really 16. At least one, ‘beefy,’ is not a verb. And another, ‘defy,’ though a verb, does not mean make d the way liquefy means make liquid or rarefy means make rare. And madefy (make wet) and pinguefy (become or make fatty, oily, or pinguid) – and the rest – seem, as words in actual usage, to have putrefied.

GLDDW

For those who sold some or all their warrants Friday, the worst they could have done was $4.40 (the low for the day, $4.90 was the high). For those holding on, as discussed at length Friday, it may soon be necessary to put up $5 in cash to convert the warrants to stock. If it is, I plan to do some of that, too. At that point, you’re going from the compartment of your brain, or at least your portfolio, reserved for ‘exhilarating speculations with money you can truly afford to lose’ – which at 38 cents and 70 cents these warrants were – to the compartment (larger, I hope) reserved for ‘solid long-term investments from which you might hope to do better than a bank account . . . always recognizing that even seemingly solid investments can run into unanticipated difficulties.’ (Are you asleep yet?) (And when will we start adding color to our prose? See how that red phrase was meant to connote excitement and danger? Olé! And the gray was meant to convey snooze? Too distracting? Reserve only for purple prose?)

 

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